Should You Really Drink 8 Glasses of Water a Day?

NEW YORK (MoneyTalksNews) -- You know how you’re supposed to drink eight glasses of water a day? Actually, it might be healthier to drink less. At least for women.

We know drinking more water than your body can process might kill you. So might heat strokes if you don’t drink enough. So what’s the right amount to avoid a trip to the hospital?

A drop in the bucket
A newly released study from Murad Research Labs on women’s hydration levels suggests the ideal may be to drink two glasses a day and instead eat more raw fruits and vegetables (which contain water that stays in your system longer) as well as additional nutrients.

“In a nutshell, eight glasses of water means eight trips to the bathroom, flushing the system of vital nutrients and minerals,” says Howard Murad, the doctor who directed the study. “Monitoring tens of thousands of subjects, we’ve seen that colorful raw fruits and vegetables are actually the best form of water for our cells.”

This particular study didn’t include “tens of thousands” -- only 104 women. (They’re planning a follow-up study looking at more than 4,000 men and women later this year.) But by measuring hydration at the cellular level, the study seems to suggest the fountain of youth’s secret might be sips instead of gulps. It found that women in their 40s who drink just a glass or two a day are as hydrated as average women who are 10 years younger.

But those who drank seven or eight cups a day actually had hydration levels more than a percent lower than those who drank two cups -- which is apparently a lot, even though it doesn’t sound like it. The “average intracellular water level” for women in their 40s is 24.6%, while those in their 30s have 25.4%.