You’ll enjoy your next sip of the thirst-quenching liquid more once you’ve tossed these common water myths down the drain. By Yethu Mtshali
I can’t be denied that water has many health benefits. With no nasty additives and absolutely no calories, many people have been taught from a young age that you should get in your eight glasses of water every day to ensure your body keeps working at optimum level. But along the way, it seems we have picked up a few untruths about the fluid (how many of you avoid drinking water during meals?). We bust the most common myths.
You need at least eight glasses of water a day
No one is sure where this idea came from, but it is virtually impossible for most of us to maintain it and it can be bad for you. Consuming too much water can decrease the concentration of sodium in the blood, which limits your nerve and muscle function. You only need to drink enough water to quench your thirst, and eat water-dense food like spinach, cucumber, lettuce, cauliflower, strawberries and watermelon.
Drinking loads of water keeps your skin hydrated
Unless you’re severely dehydrated, drinking a huge quantity of water won’t really prevent your skin from drying out. Skin is influenced more by external factors such as your environment and cleansing routine. Any water that you consume in a day does not reach the top layer of your skin – called the epidermis – and thus has very little effect on it.
Sipping on water
while eating is bad for you Drinking water during a meal may help to curb your appetite, but there is no real scientific evidence to suggest that it is bad for your health. Try avoid drinking too much water while you are eating as this will dilute the digestive enzymes, making them less effective and could cause difficulties in breaking down your food. So don’t drink too much 45 minutes before and after a meal.
Drinking excess water leads to weight loss
Water can be useful in losing weight, but only if you make other lifestyle changes too, such as working out and eating a balanced diet. Water will add zero kilojoules to your RDA and helps you feel more full if you sip it throughout the day, but it certainly has no magical powers on its own
Dark Yellow urine means that you’re Dehydrated
Amber-coloured urine is a sign you’re not getting in enough fluids, but you won’t have to be hooked up to an IV or anything – a glass of water will most likely get your urine back to the pale yellow colour it should be. And don’t stress if your pee is luminous or even clear. Your diet and some medication can affect the colour too. A red tinge is cause for concern, though, so be sure to get checked out.
Water is not as good as energy drinks when doing Strenuous exercise
Water is the single best form of hydration if you’re taking part in high-intensity sports. It transports nutrients through your body, gives you (natural) energy and helps your body stay cooler than a beverage containing stimulating drugs such as caffeine will. Energy drinks are also generally very high in sugar, which is bad for your health and your figure.
Drinking lots of water helps your body filter toxins from your blood
Your kidneys’ primary function is to clear out waste products and any excess fluid from your body through the urinary tract, helping to maintain a stable balance of chemicals in your system. Water definitely plays a role in ridding your body of metabolic waste – once all the nasty toxins have been extracted from the blood by your kidneys, they will require enough water to expel them from the body through urine. However, as we said before, consuming too much water is not good for you and can reduce your kidneys’ ability to function effectively.
Bottled water is Healthier than Regular water
The various additions that are claimed to be in your bottle of water are usually one big marketing ploy. The bottle may say that there are extra vitamins, minerals and protein in the water because it was bottled in a magical, mystical place where the lakes have healing powers. But it wasn’t. It’s just expensive and most likely only contains artificial flavouring or other chemical additives to help lengthen its shelf life.