It’s the Drinking Water Apps Fault

So I am on like day 12 of being obsessed over new smartphone. It is my first one and it is an Android with the touch screen plus bells and whistles. It is freaking AWESOME. And than there are all the applications you can add, called app for short. Wow those are fun: there are games to play alone or with others, you can link up to you bank, check when the bus will past next, listen to music, etc.

Than I fell on the Drinking Water App. It asks you how many glasses you want to drink in a day, asks when you want to have your first drink (like 9 am) and the latest time to drink. When it is time to drink the phone makes a noise of a glass being filled. It’s a fun app for someone wanting to drink more water than they already are. If you achieve your daily goal a crowd applauds and cheers you. This is what the app screen looks like…

That got me thinking about articles I vaguely remembered reading some time ago: do you really need 8 glasses a day?, what is the size of a glass?, do your other beverages count and which?, and what about the water in the food we eat?

Oh gees, all I wanted was an app that may help me incorporate a healthier habit and inspire me to do more maybe? But now I am bombarded with existential questions about liquids. ENOUGH. Let’s get to the bottom of the glass and find the answers.

So according to wiki

The human body is made of between 55% to 78% water. Now how much you need per day depends on so many factors one cannot give a specific amount that fits every human being. Factors include on body size, level of activity, temperature, humidity. Some people may need one liter while another person needs  seven liters of water per day.

Who said 8 glasses a day?

We used to think that approximately 2 liters (6 to 7 glasses) of water daily was the minimum to maintain proper hydration. Where did this number come from? It goes back to 1945 when a recommendation for water intake was presented to the Food and Nutrition Board of the United States National Research Council. Since then many studies have been done to prove the claim, all have failed. In the US, the reference daily intake (RDI) for water is 3.7 liters per day (l/day) for human males older than 18, and 2.7 l/day for human females older than 18,  including water contained in food, beverages, and drinking water.

What does water do for you?

What is the size of a glass?

This one they all seem to agree on: eight fl oz each (240 ml).

What about the water in the food we eat?

Normally,about 20% of water intake comes from food, while the rest comes from drinking liquids. This means that with the current US recommendations, after eating you still need on average 3.0 liters (13 glasses) for a man and 2.2 liters for a woman  (9 glasses). Wait a minute that is even more then the old false recommendation of 8 glasses? Now I am really confused.


So how much do we really need per day?

Medical literature favors a lower consumption, an average sized adult with healthy kidneys needs no more than one liter of fluid (4 glasses). Another article I read recommended 1 liter of water for every 1000kcal you expend. If it is hot and humid, drink more, if you exercised drink more. If you sit all day and no nothing in a cool comfortable room there is no need to add more.

The “loose average” kcal burned in a day is 1800 ( an average people…some are at 1400, some are a 2200). So let’s take off 20% because that water was in our food. Now we have 1440 kcal which would be 1.4 liters or 6 glasses.

This is another formula (apparently) to learn what your liquid daily needs are:
To determine how much water you should drink, weigh yourself each morning for 3 to 4 days in a row (ladies not during your PMS or period cause you are bloated). If you lose a whole pound in a day, it means you came up short on liquids the day before. Drink a pint of water or juice first thing in the morning for every pound you’ve lost and adjust your daily intake until your weight is steady.

Do other beverages count?

Water is water is water? Actually no, beverages such as milk and juice are composed mostly of water. Same goes for beer, wine and caffeinated beverages. Of course I won’t recommend you only drink beer, but if you have a glass of milk in the morning, a coffee at work and a beer at night…if you are that average 1800 kcal person you just knocked off 3 of your 6 glasses.

In the end I decided to set my Drinking Water app to 6 glasses and I count all my liquids as water. So far so good.

A final note

I read a couple of sites that said you are your best judge of how much water you need to drink. I actually totally disagree with that because most of us misinterpret “I am thirsty” brain signals as “I need to eat something”. Yes most of your pangs of hunger are actually your body saying it needs fluids, not food. When you are really hungry you will know it – like you might want to steal the sandwich from that kid and run because you are starving.

Also some people only recognize thirst when they are already dehydrated. If that is your case better drink by prevention before you feel thirsty. Dehydration can be life threatening.

And yes you can die from drinking too much water too, although that is rare. It is referred to as water intoxication or hyper-hydration. If you drink so much water that your normal balance of electrolytes go out of wack your muscles and brain will stop functioning. Nearly all deaths related to water intoxication in normal individuals have resulted either from water drinking contests.

18 comments to It’s the Drinking Water Apps Fault

  • Very interesting. I blogged about the exact same issue yesterday. According to an article I read the 8 glasses/2L per day should be ignored, drink enough to fix your thirst.
  • I just got this app. Hehee Thanks so much. My husband calls me camel because I don't drink enough water... I know it's REALLY bad for my body. Hopefully this app will remind me (every 2 hours) how much I have been drinking! Thanks for sharing the app and knowledge!
  • My kids have Androids and that is where my sites app is, but I have a blackberry storm...The apps are fun and I can look to see if there is a water app for mine. Excellent and informative post Evelyne! Have fun with your phone :)
  • Kate@Diethood
    Wow, you are awesome! Thank you for doing all the homework for us! I drink a lot of water... about 10 glasses a day. I'm not always thirsty, but I do it out of habit. I sometimes have to stop myself because I don't want to OD on water :))
  • What a wonderful post on the importance of water for our body! The App looks great! This App is highly recommended!
  • A drinking water app, REALLY?? I'm on the most basic cell phone imagineable, so I save myself from all the temptations of apps lol Sort of like my take on social networking - if it isn't there or used, I don't 'have' to use it. Twitter has already got me in a tizzy and I had to slow it down because the addiction was getting to be too much! BTW, I drink tons of water a day. At least 4 or 5 16-oz bottles. just the fact that they're now finding something wrong with 'too much' water, is funny. Is too much air next? I can see it now..'Do not leave indoor areas more than three times a day, and only inhale 12 breaths of fresh air every two hours" LOL
  • Liz
    Another app to check out! Thanks~
  • Love it. I have my eye on an iphone for October. In the meantime I use Axel's and I am so going to ask him to get this app. Today. Cool post. And gongrats on your new phone! It's a life changer.
  • Well, you know me and my iphone. Hooked and happy :) Very good information about water... I have to force myself to drink more of it everyday.
  • I don't drink nearly enough water. You did a great job on researching this post. I love the app but I'm still in the dark ages where my phone is concerned - lol...
  • I do recommend the app. i have a tendency to not drink so 6 glasses is a lot for me but I am doing it. Glad some of you are already in the good habit! YAY yes Mary we have to do that!
  • Thanks for the info. I alweays like to drink water ( even more than I need).. it's just a habbit. I should use this app on my phone. Have a great week end.
  • Maya@Foodiva's Kitchen
    Great phone, and equally useful app to have! Such useful info here on your post, I know I should drink more but don't. On days when I exercise, I could easily down 3 liters. On days when I don't, maybe only 5 glasses because I often forget....pathetic, isn't it? Thanks for this reminder, I better go get myself something to drink now!
  • This is great! I am going to download this app... I'm pretty sure I do need to get more water in each day (although your research is making me unsure! LOL)
  • What? And all these years I've been trying my darn hardest to drown myself in 2 liters of water a day!
  • That sounds like a fun app, and I know i'd be obsessed too. In fact, I'm feeling thirsty now... Hey, it looks like I'll be in Montreal for all of August. Maybe we can get Valerie to come out for a drink too. It's important to stay hydrated in the heat. :)
  • I know I drink more water than I need, but working in a kitchen gets you use to drinking water constantly to replace the water your losing from the heat. I can really tell the days I don't drink enough, my lips get chapped among other things...
  • My husband is welded to his smart phone. ;) Addictive little buggers. Such a cute app.

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