question of the day

How Much Water Should You Really Be Drinking Per Day?

One almost universal beauty tip that even the non-inundated will have heard is the proverbial “drink more water.” It’s seen as some sort of panacea for all skin (and, in some cases, health) issues. And yet so much of the science on the subject seems dubious at best. What does water actually do for our skin? How much do we need to get the benefit? And is there such thing as too much water? Read on.

Water is undeniably a necessity for the body — but is it the definitive answer for glowy skin, as so many skin? And how much should we be drinking?

The effect of drinking water on the skin are two-fold: One, it can cleanse the skin by flushing toxins from the body. Two, it hydrates the skin. And when skin is hydrated, it can heal faster, and it is less prone to wrinkling, sagging or getting dull. After all, it stands to reason that a dehydrated person will have noticeably dehydrated skin – that is to say dry, tight and even flaky skin. 

What you may not know, however, is that drinking a very large amount of water isn’t much better for the skin than drinking simply enough water. This is because although skin is an organ, it’s the last in the long queue of organs waiting for water. It’s your body’s last priority. (Having properly working internal organs is apparently “more important” than looking glowy and radiant. Who knew?) In fact, one study showed absolutely no difference between the wrinkling and smoothness of those who drank the recommended amount of water, and those who did not.

That’s not to say give up on drinking water – not at all. Looking healthy is all well and good, but let’s not lose sight of what’s actually important in life: Being healthy. Not everyone will agree that drinking water helps your skin, and any factual evidence seems a bit shaky at best, but it’s universally accepted that drinking water definitely is good for your health.

Why? Drinking enough water can help your body with digestion and regulating body temperature. It can help boost weight loss. Water fuels muscles and helps with kidney function. Minor pains can be relived through drinking water, and it can help fight fatigue. I could go on, but I think you get the idea. 

Now, onto the bigger question: How much water do you need? Most health professionals will recommend eight eight-ounce glasses over the course of the day, but the number is actually a bit trickier to determine. There’s no “one size fits all” in terms of water consumption. It depends on your height, weight and lifestyle. Diet comes in to play – did you know you can eat your water? Need for water consumption can also be affected by your climate – if you live somewhere warm, you’ll likely need to hydrate more. 

The eight glasses per day theory has come under fire for being too broad of an instruction. And the idea that you may be dehydrated and just don’t know it is bogus. Dehydration is a very real health problem, with a multitude of unignorable symptoms. Put simply, if you aren’t drinking enough water, you’ll know about it.

And can you drink too much water? Well, the short answer is yes, definitely. There’s a condition called overhydration, which, although opposite to dehydration, can be just as problematic or even dangerous. If you’re peeing upwards of ten times a day, your urine is clear or you consciously drink even when you aren’t thirsty, you may be at risk. 

More so than any other health concern, there seems to be a culture of misinformation around the consumption of water. From my own research, I’m yet to come up with a conclusive answer. So here’s my (definitely not medically professional) advice: You’re probably fine. If you’re the sort of person cognizant enough about water consumption to read an article about it, I’d hazard a guess that you’re drinking enough water. Don’t worry about it. Because you know what else is bad for the skin? Stress!

A few more healthy living tips to support you on your wellness journey:

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