- Alexandra Hansen of The Conversation Asked five experts
All five experts said no
Deputy Head, School of Medicine
No. You only need to drink to thirst. The best gauge of your hydration level is the colour of your urine. You should aim for light yellow in colour; if very dark then you're dehydrated and need more water; if clear (like water) then you don’t need so much water. Excessive water intake can be dangerous, particularly in those with heart conditions. The kidney has a remarkable ability to concentrate water so if you are "getting dry" the kidney will concentrate the urine and send a message to the brain to drink more.
No. A person’s daily water requirements are highly individual and dependent upon a number of internal and external factors. While eight glasses of water per day is recommended as a base requirement to meet daily physiological needs, the actual volume of water required in a day is dependent on one’s day-to-day activities, health, and the climate in which they reside. Research shows even just a mild level of dehydration can negatively affect both mental and physical performance. This is further accentuated for individuals who are highly active and who live in hot environments. A simple and easy reminder to ensure you are drinking enough is to drink to thirst, and for days when activity levels are higher than normal or in hotter environments to increase the regularity of drinking and the total volume.