Many believe water is to wellness what avocados are to toast: being coupled with the former drastically improves the latter.
It seems you can find a study to confirm just about anything you need validation for. Whether it be fueling your love for red wine because it's actually good for your heart, enabling your addiction to chocolate as it can help lower the risk of depression, or that being late all the time is actually a good thing.
And now, there’s one that eases that 4 pm guilt of the lack of water you drink each day.
If, like the entire Irish Tatler team, you're the type of person who strives to drink the recommended two litres of water each day but realised you failed as your full bottle of water stares you down at the end of the day - chances are you pick up said water bottle and proceed to down it in a bid to play catch up.
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But it turns out drinking large quantities of water may not be the best or most efficient way to hydrate.
“If you’re drinking water and then, within two hours, your urine output is really high and [your urine] is clear, that means the water is not staying in well,” David Nieman, a professor of public health at Appalachian State University and director of the Human Performance Lab told Time Magazine.
Nieman says plain water (which is the most effective to hydrate) has a tendency to move right through the human digestive system when not accompanied by food or nutrients, especially when you drink large volumes of water on an empty stomach.
And science can back Nieman up. A 2015 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition compared the short-term hydration effects of more than a dozen different beverages (including plain water, sports drinks, milk, tea, beer and a specially formulated rehydration solution) and found that several drinks of the drinks tested were more hydrating than good old fashioned tap water. Interesting.
But before you go pouring your water down the drain, keep in mind that the research did state that you shouldn't ditch the water for tea and beer, but more so to reveal that the body retains more water when it’s ingested alongside amino acids, fats and minerals.
“People who are drinking bottles and bottles of water in between meals and with no food, they’re probably just peeing most of that out,” - Nieman
Bottom line? Glugging two litres of water daily is unnecessary. We consume significant amounts of water via the moisture in our food and alternative drinks which counts towards the recommended 1.2 litres of fluid per day as well. So if that two-litre bottle of water stays unfinished, relax.
Main image by @annejohannsen on Instagram