Friday, April 1, 2011

Hydrate, But Don't Overdo It - No Fooling!

Over the past few years, the companion water bottle has become an integral part of modern society. It's on par with the cell phone as a necessary must-have-at-hand item. And, after years of dedicated worldwide campaigning, it has finally become common knowledge that we need to stay hydrated to ensure good health. Beauty experts concur: properly hydrated skin is visibly healthy, clear, and more youthful-looking. That's a good thing, right? Of course it is, but...

Here's The Thing
It's gotten way out of proportion. More times than I'd like to count, I've seen womens magazines (here and abroad) with pages of good ideas and tips on 'how to get the full 3 liters of water a day you need'. (That's 100 ounces for you non-metric folks). THIS IS WRONG!!! It is one of the most commonly misunderstood skin (and general health) care tips circulating the world today. A person does not need to drink a full 3 liters of water a day in order to be properly hydrated.

What The Pros Say
Danish Professor Søren Nielsen, Director of the Water and Salt Center at Aarhus University, has been trying for years to bring the facts on track about how much fluid we need in order to stay healthy and properly hydrated. His advice (condensed translation). "Pay attention to your bodys needs and drink when you are thirsty. Obviously, if you are doing strenuous activities that require replenishing lost fluids, you will need to drink more. But under normal circumstances, just follow your bodys natural signals – drink when you are thirsty."  Funny – I could have sworn that sounded just like plain old common sense.

The 3-Liter-Misconception
I asked the Danish Continence Society (where I saw the Professors article) about this. They informed me that they have been struggling with the '3-Liter-Misconception' for years. They also said the Society is happy to supply any and all members of the media (and public) with facts and information on the subject. Read the full article: 'The Myth About How Much We Need to Drink'  at the Danish Continence Society website (website and article are in Danish language only).

Happy April 1st.
No fooling.

Now, is it time for coffee yet? 
PS. That counts as fluid too

4 comments:

jhollywooddesigns said...

Great info, Lise. So glad to hear that coffee(and tea?) counts! :)

Lise M Andersen said...

You are welcome, and yes, tea counts. So does soup, oranges, cucumbers, watermelon and, well, anything that contains water! :)

Katrine said...

Good to know! Another thing the hydration-craze has brought with it is a pretty extreme over use of bottled water. Apart from the worry that continued use of a bottle designed to be disposable might result in the release of hormonal disruptors - something I know I worry about, but which might not actually be build on solid science ;) - there's a bacterial issue. I don't know the situation in work places, but in schools and of course fitness centers and the like, everybody is toting around bottles. Because nobody can deny that Danish water is pretty damn good (maybe making a tiny, partial exception for the Copenhagen-area), and at least some worry about the accumulation of disposed plastic, they are reused for at least a couple of days. I read an article in the Aarhus Uni campus paper on a test made by some bio. students - how much bacterial buildup does such a bottle contain? The verdict, after a five days of use was 8 times the allowed amount of bacteria for the washed bottles, and 16 times for the unwashed ones. Maybe limiting the intake wouldn't be a bad thing ;)

Lise M Andersen said...

wonderful input Katrine! Thanks so much!