Among the medical myths that have been investigated by researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine is the one that we should all be drinking “eight glasses of water” every day. according to proponents of this, fluids in food, coffee, soft drinks and for that matter beer, wine and other alcoholic drinks, don’t count. Oh no, you have to drink those eight glasses of water or you’ll die!! Or at least be very unwell. Or something.
Now this always sounded a bit dodgy to me. Anything that states a level for everyone regardless of body size, level of activity, or indeed any of the other numerous variables that might make a difference, doesn’t sound much like science. In fact, it sounds like something that somebody made up and which was then repeated and repeated and repeated until it became “common knowledge”.
There are other problems with the claim, too. First there’s the one that human bodies have this amazing mechanism for letting their owners know when they need more water. It’s called thirst, and generally works quite well. Another awkward question is the same one that needs to be directed to Cadbury – how big is a “glass” anyway?
Details of this and some other exploded myths via this BBC News report.
But you still shouldn’t run with scissors – that one’s true.