We’ve all been instructed at one point in our lives to drink eight glasses of water a day, or to skip the ice when we take a drink with our meal. And what about those rumours that fruit infusions are equivalent to detox magic? All these stories claim to have restorative qualities for our bodies, but how many of them are truly worth following?
We speak to nutrition experts to unmask the truths behind the most vital habit of our day.
Myth 1: Drinking warm water is better than cold water
Those who live in or have been to Asian countries will have experienced the warm-water phenomenon wherein restaurants will automatically serve hot water, even when temperatures are soaring outside. Confusing for tourists maybe, but culturally, Asians are raised to believe warm water is better for your health, and now we can confirm this indeed truth.
According to Dana James, certified nutritionist and founder of Food Coach NYC, warm water requires less metabolic energy to regulate the temperature of our body. This means your digestive system has an easier time breaking down foods and expelling toxins with warm water, as opposed to cold water that hardens the oil into fat deposits in the intestines. Warm water also facilitates blood circulation, relaxing your muscles and alleviating tension pains. We’ll certainly be opting for the red tab the next time we visit the cooler.
Myth 2: We must drink 8 glasses of water a day
There’s no hard and fast rule for how much you should drink, eight glasses a day is merely a guideline, but over and under hydrating can be equally detrimental to your health. “If you consistently drink in excess of your body's requirements, you can dilute your electrolyte balance and your sodium levels can drop to a precipitous level that you'll need an IV infusion of electrolytes,” says James. “Don’t skip a day either. The body will adapt by slowing cellular processes. Find time to drink about eight 8oz glasses of water a day.”
Myth 3: Water infusions helps detox
There is little scientific backing to the claim that detox-water or water infused with fruits and vegetables can facilitate weight loss – as delicious as it can be - and if it would appear to have that effect, it is most likely due to the increase of water intake in itself as drinking water is linked to reducing hunger, increasing your metabolic rate and maintaining healthy bowel movements, with or without fruits or vegetables, says UK-based nutritionist Helen West. “What’s most important is to drink clean, filtered water,” says James.
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