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8 glasses of water a day—myth or fact?

Hubert Cormier, nutritionist Comments

Dry skin, coated tongue… unpleasant symptoms like these can be improved with good hydration. But what is good hydration?

8 verres d'eau par jour

You've probably heard that we need to drink eight glasses of water a day. Although this idea seems to be widely accepted, it's actually a myth!

How much water should we drink?

Ideally, our intake should be roughly 2 litres of liquid a day. The amount of liquid should be approximately 1 millimetre for every calorie of energy requirement. For example, an active man has an energy requirement of 2,500 calories and should therefore drink the equivalent of 2.5 litres of liquid a day. Careful though! There's a big difference between men and women! Women generally have far lower energy requirements than men, meaning they also need less water.

Does hydration simply mean drinking water? There are many other types of liquid to consider: coffee, tea, soup, soft drinks, mineral water, juice, jell-O, ice cream, ice, energy drinks (for active individuals) and many other options! Nonetheless, water remains the best choice since it has no calories. Don't like plain water? Find out how to jazz it up!

Water in solid foods

A number of foods contain significant amounts of water—primarily fruits and vegetables. These foods contribute to the amount of liquid our body absorbs, but current recommendations do not consider them a means of hydration at the same level as water. Foods with a high water content will have a low energy density, meaning they have very few calories by volume because of the water they contain. On the other hand, foods rich in lipids (fat) will have a much higher energy density. So choosing low energy density foods can be a more appealing option in helping us satisfy our hydration needs.

Here's a short list of fruits and vegetables that contain lots of water

Vegetables

Quantity of water for 100g

Celery

95.4 g of water/100 g

Cucumber

95.2 g of water/100 g

Romaine lettuce

94.6 g of water/100 g

Tomato

94.5 g of water/100 g

Asparagus

93.2 g of water/100 g

Red pepper

92.2 g of water/100 g

Onion

91.2 g of water/100 g

Carrot

90.4 g of water/100 g

Kale

84.5 g of water/100 g

Potato

75.4 g of water/100 g

Fruits

Quantity of water for 100g

Watermelon

91.5 g of water/100 g

Strawberry

91.0 g of water/100 g

Peach

88.9 g of water/100 g

Pineapple

86.0 g of water/100 g

Raspberry

85.8 g of water/100 g

Apple (with skin)

85.6 g of water/100 g

It's important to stay hydrated on a daily basis by drinking healthy beverages such as water, tea or coffee, and eating properly by incorporating more foods with a low energy density, like vegetables, into your diet.

Do you often feel thirsty? Don't hesitate to talk about it with your pharmacist. By consulting your health file, they can provide you with advice.

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