Health Scoop

You don’t need 8 glasses of water per day

Fresh ice water with lemons.

PLASTIC WATER BOTTLES have a whole shelf to themselves at Target. These days you can find bottles with advanced filters (like this one), ones that are shatterproof, heat resistant, and can probably outlast a trip to outer space.

While staying hydrated is important for sanity and health reasons alike (60 percent of our bodies are water), the hard and fast 8 x 8 rule (eight 8 oz. glasses of water per day) that many follow religiously may not be as accurate as it is trendy….

According to a recent study, your brain tells you when it has had enough, and too much water intake at once can lead to dangerously low sodium levels that may result in brain swelling. According to researchers who studied brain MRIs of water drinkers, parts of the brain actually function as a Stop sign when it is time to put down the bottle.

When thirsty, downing a glass of cold water feels good. Two brain areas that light up in thirsty water drinkers…(pardon the brief medical jargon)… include the anterior cingulate cortex and orbitofrontal region. But overdrinking is associated with activations of other areas in the midcingulate cortex, insula, amygdala, and periaqueductal grey. When thirst is quenched, and subjects are asked to drink more water after these areas become active, the motor cortex also lights up to comply with drinking in the face of involuntary inhibition. At this point, swallowing becomes more difficult. Translation, give yourself a break from the water when you’ve had enough.

Keep in mind that the bottle of iced tea, or the glass of juice also contributes to daily hydration requirements, as do water rich foods like grapes and watermelon. In fact, not only will foods like grapes and watermelon keep you hydrated, but they are great healthy snacking alternatives.

Reference: Farrell, et al. Overdrinking results in the emergence of swallowing inhibition: an fMRI study. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, published October 2016.

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    December 26, 2016 at 11:22 pm

    I absolutely love your website.. Pleasant colors & theme.

    Did you make this web site yourself? Please reply back as I’m trying to create my own website and would love to find out where you got this from
    or just what the theme is named. Thank you!

    • Reply
      March 9, 2017 at 11:36 pm

      Thank you, Jimmy! Yes – this is a WordPress template, but content and image placement is original.

    Leave a Reply