How much water should you drink?

Seven's On Call with Dr. Jay Adlersberg
April 3, 2008 7:49:14 PM PDT
When it comes to drinking water, most of us think we need eight glasses a day. But new research is challenging that. Seven's on Call with Dr. Jay Adlersberg. Somewhere along the line, the idea of eight glasses a day became conventional wisdom and so two doctors at the University of Pennsylvania searched for any scientific research they could find on water consumption.

At this fitness center people push themselves to the max--then max out on water to make up for it. But how many glasses do you need?

Two doctors at the University of Pennsylvania went in search of scientific research and found very little.

"It's required for life, and I guess that's led people to think if a normal amount is good, then extra might be better," said Dr. Stanley Goldfarb at Dept. of medicine, University of Pennsylvania.

Will water fill your stomach if you're dieting? The doctors say there are no conclusive studies.

Will it help your kidneys clear out toxins? Again, no conclusive studies.

Will it prevent headaches? Or improve skin tone? No conclusive studies.

"It won't harm you," Dr. Stanley Goldfarb said. "But again, you should understand that there's very little, if any, scientific evidence that it's going to benefit you."

A government panel said unless you're working-out or live in the desert, you need 11 glasses of fluid for women and 15 for men. That sounds like a lot--but most people get it already, from coffee, milk, soda... in fact, 20 percent of the water you need comes from the moisture in food.

Researchers say listen to your body. Just drink water when you're thirsty. That's the way your body was designed.