“If we just do what our body demands us to we'll probably get it right - just drink according to thirst rather than an elaborate schedule." Professor Michael Farrell from the Monash University said
How much water should we drink each day? There have been many recommendations over the years but probably the most common is eight glasses of water a day.
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However, it is still scientifically unproven whether we really need that much water a day for optimal health. A new study investigates the risks and benefits of drinking eight glasses of water a day and cast doubts on the usefulness of the popular theory.
Water is a key chemical compound which makes up to 60% of human body. We consistently lose water from our bodies mainly due to urine and sweating and excessive release can lead to dehydration. Similarly, drinking too much water can cause water intoxication - a potentially fatal condition that occurs when overhydration cause to drop the level of salt, or sodium, in blood abnormally low and leads to nausea, vomiting, brain damage and even death.
In the study, researchers have revealed for the first time the mechanism that regulates water intake in our body and prevents us from over-drinking. Researchers looked at the amount of effort needed to swallow water under two conditions, after exercise when people are thirsty and after they drink excessive amount of water. When researchers compared those results, they found that it requires 3 times more effort to adjust over-drinking than drinking water after exercise. Researchers reveal that a 'swallowing inhibition' is activated by the brain after excess water is consumed and helps us maintain the required levels of water in the body.
“Here for the first time we found effort-full swallowing after drinking excess water which meant they were having to overcome some sort of resistance. This was compatible with our notion that the swallowing reflex becomes inhibited once enough water has been drunk,” said Professor Michael Farrell from the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute
“If we just do what our body demands us to we'll probably get it right - just drink according to thirst rather than an elaborate schedule,"