We all know that we're supposed to drink lots of water, but how much? Most people think eight glasses a day is correct, but a number of published reports recently have reached the same conclusion -- the concept of eight glasses of water has been heavily hyped by the growing bottled water industry.
Susan Bowerman is the Assistant Director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition. She says there is a lot of validity to the eight glasses but don't knock yourself out if you're following a good diet because so many foods include a lot of water. She says lettuce, cucumber, and celery are all about 95% water. An orange is 87%. A banana is 74%. Even a sirloin steak is 59% water. She says there are other factors to consider, so the amount of water you need is really a personal matter.
"The size of a person can make a difference, because obviously, a bigger person is going to have a larger amount of fluid in their body, so they're going to need more. How much activity you get, what type of activity you're getting, what conditions you're exercising under, can all make a difference," says Bowerman.
This tip from UCLA: if you like to workout, a good rule of thumb is weigh yourself before and after a workout. You should drink two cups of fluid for every pound you lose. That means fluid without caffeine because coffee, tea, and sodas won't bring in water, but they work instead as a diuretic. So, if not eight glasses of water a day, what is a good amount? Susan and her team at UCLA agree that four glasses a day is fine if you're eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and drinking some juice as well.