8 Reasons NOT to Drink 8 Glasses of Water A Day

Everyone knows the old adage is true, right? “Drink 8, 8 ounce glasses of water a day!” You’ve heard it from your doctor, your nutritionist, your mom, the governor of all your health decisions (obviously none other than the Great and Powerful Oz!), every health book you’ve ever read, and of course, plenty of info-graphics going viral on Facebook, so, it must be true.

Because your body is 60% water, of course! (Or, was it 80%? Who cares! You’re basically nothing but water.) Your brain is made out of water! Water is the source of life! You need to drink more water to get rid of toxins! You need to drink more water to get pretty skin! You need to drink water to lose weight! If you think you’re hungry, you’re really actually thirsty! By the time you get thirsty, you’re already dehydrated! Coffee makes you dehydrated! Taking a shower makes you dehydrated! Breathing makes you dehydrated! If you don’t have clear pee, you’re about to die!!!

drink waters


If this ain’t your first rodeo, and you’ve read this blog before (which isn’t exactly keen on many a mainstream health doctrinal standard), I bet you might be able to venture a guess as to what I’m about to say next.

Basically everything you’ve ever been taught about how much water you should be drinking is a big load of crap.

(Yup. You called it.)

Pouring of fresh cool water in a glass isolated

Why You Should NOT Be Drinking 8 Glasses of Water a Day

My top 8 reasons why drinking all those glasses—instead of drinking according to your own body’s needs—is a bad idea.

1.) You’re blindly following standardized health advice instead of listening to your own body.

I find it interesting that in spite of huge, gaping variations in the span of health and nutrition recommendations—such as the polar opposite advice given by mainstream medicine (saturated fat will kill you, but polyunsaturated fats are “heart-healthy” etc.) to all the varying sects of alternative medicine and nutrition (eat all the saturated fat you possibly can, but polyunsaturated fats will kill you, etc.), one constant has remained throughout ALL angles of health and nutrition advice, even in our real-food realm: “Drink more water!”

What’s weird is that the whole, “All things in moderation,” thing is fairly universal as well. Yet, that’s not supposed to apply to water, according to everyone’s standards. The more water, the better! Drinking water has become somewhat of a health virtue—kind of like exercise. There’s a lot of pressure out there to do it, and do it a lot more than you naturally would want to.

Therein lies one of the biggest problems with the water recommendations of today—the audacious contention that your own body really doesn’t know what’s good for it. That even though it’s not asking for water, you should force down 8 more ounces and ignore the unpleasant biological feedback provided. Forget the uncomfortable urges to pee, the brain fog, and freezing cold hands and feet you’re experiencing—just listen to that health guru and make sure you’ve met his daily quota for your body’s water needs for the day.

Why do we all think it’s so acceptable to disrespect our own bodies in this way? That’s really what it is—complete and total ignorance of the biological signals your body is ingrained with to regulate itself. You don’t have to calculate out how much air you’re going to breathe in each day, or how many times you should blink, or the number of times you will visit the bathroom. Your body does all the thinking for you, and tells you to breathe, blink, or poop according to its needs. And generally, you react to each respectively without giving it a second thought.

But, should you drink water to quench your thirst, and then wait til the next time you feel thirsty to do it again? Nah. Just drink it all day long, regardless of what your body says.

Think about this, the next time you reach for that water bottle, or go to chug down the last half of the glass you just poured. Are you drinking that because you’re thirsty, and your body is telling you it needs water? Or are you drinking it because it’s “healthy?”

Most of the time, when people are drinking to the point of overhydration, their real answer is the latter.

Worse yet is when people are drinking to satisfy other physical needs their bodies are signaling—hunger especially. How many times have you heard this one—“When you feel hungry, try water first! Sometimes you think you’re hungry, but you’re really just thirsty!”

Wow. I’m pretty sure my two-year-old niece has been able to tell the difference between hunger and thirst since before she could talk. It isn’t exactly difficult. I can promise you, you haven’t forgotten how to do this yourself. The kind of disordered thinking that’s behind the message of drinking to satisfy hunger is born of other messed-up behavior and cultural attitudes about health, diet, and body image. Guaranteed. Why else would you ever want to not feed your body when its asking for it? Gotta perpetuate that calorie fear, of course!

Hunger and thirst cues are instinctive. Listen to them, and respond appropriately. Don’t torture yourself via waterboarding your gullet every hour of the day.

2.) You’re already getting water in your food.

Even if you were supposed to be drinking 64 ounces of water every day, you’d be getting a significant portion of that simply by eating food. That’s because, unless you’re an astronaut, almost all of the food you eat contains water.

Think about it—what happens when you combine powdered milk and water? You get (nasty tasting) milk. Powdered eggs and water? You get (a really horrible excuse for) eggs. And how did they make the powdered stuff? They took the water out of it.

There’s lots of water in fruit, vegetables, meat, eggs, dairy—you name it. Grains and nuts have a very low water content, but you’re usually eating them with other foods that contain water. Like, oats—they’re bone-dry, but you cook them in water and add butter and cream (unless you’re crazy or something). Bread—you start with waterless flour, but add all kinds of moisture in other ingredients. And straight-up fats don’t really contain water, but again, you’re not going to be consuming them without other foods. Unless you literally eat your butter by the spoonful, which, even I’m not weird enough to do.

Point is, you get water just about every time you eat. And no one seems to want to count this.

And even more strangely, many people don’t even want to count beverages that aren’t water, as going toward your arbitrary allotment of daily water consumption.

K. Seriously? If you eat a spoonful of instant coffee powder, and drink a glass of water—you did not just consume a different thing than coffee. The powder doesn’t magically “cancel out” the water. Same thing goes with juice, milk, tea, soda—and healthy crunchy hippie drinks like kombucha, kvass, kefir, and all that. If you’re drinking something, there’s a lot of water in it. That’s just kind of the way that goes. If you’re eating watery foods and drinking those things on top of drinking a bunch of water, you could very easily be overdoing it on the H2O.

3.) You’re missing out on nutrient-dense beverages

And speaking of all the things you could be drinking which are not plain water, but very much contain significant amounts of it—why not drink those things instead?

When you’re drinking water, all you’re getting is water. But if you’re drinking fresh, raw milk, jam-packed with critical nutrients like vitamins A, D, E, and K, you’re not just getting hydration, you’re getting nutrition.

Or how about one of those weird fermented drinks— like kefir, kombucha, or kvass? Or homemade bone broth? Beneficial probiotics, vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients—all things you’re missing out on if you’re meeting your water needs with water only.

The Weston A. Price Foundation actually advises against drinking too much plain water for this reason. Sally Fallon says of lacto-fermented beverages, “Both soft drinks and alcoholic beverages—and even plain water—are poor substitutes for these health-promoting beverages. Taken with meals they promote thorough and easy digestion of food; taken after physical labor they give a lift by replacing lost mineral ions in a way that renews rather than depletes the body’s reserves.” (source)

Are you drinking too much water?

4.) You’re throwing off your electrolyte balance

Sally was right about those minerals, by the way—they’re important. Specifically, the balance between phosphorous and sodium.

Inside your cells, a balance leaning toward the phosphorous side is preferable. But outside your cells—in your extracellular (sometimes called intersitial) fluid, is where you want the scale to tip toward sodium.

Healthy, normal extracellular fluid likes to stay at what is called an isotonic solution—that means, it has about 9 grams of salt per liter of water. If you’re very dehydrated, and require an IV of fluids at the hospital, they aren’t pumping you full of straight water—it could kill you if they did that. They’re giving you an isotonic solution that provide hydration while maintaining a healthy electrolyte balance, sodium being of particular importance for those extracellular fluids.

Maybe you’ve heard the advice out there that says if you’re properly hydrated, your urine should be near-colorless. And that if it’s yellow, you’re “dehydrated.”

Do you have a pet? A dog, cat, or a horse will do. If you do—next time you see your vet, ask him or her what they would think if you told them that Fluffy’s pee is always completely clear or near-colorless.

I can guarantee you your vet wouldn’t be thrilled.

That’s because the specific gravity of urine is something that the field of veterinary medicine pays attention to (as do most responsible physicians). It’s a determinant in proper levels of both hydration and electrolyte balance—the number that determines the concentration of dissolved particles in the urine. If it’s too low, that indicates hyponatremia, or low salt levels in the blood. That’s bad. It causes the fluid outside of the cells to shift inside the cells through osmosis, causing them to swell. The swollen cells cause increased intracranial pressure in the brain, which leads to some of the first unpleasant symptoms of water intoxication (overhydration, see more on that below), such as headaches, drowsiness, irritability, and other changes in behavior. Hyponatremia is associated with bone fracture in the elderly, increased incidence of myocardial infarction, and more serious issues. If you become extremely hyponatremic, you die—like this guy did.

Drinking water all day long to the point that you’re peeing clear urine is a great way to get yourself into a hyponatremic state.

5.) Overhydration sucks

Like with many systems of the body, hydration requirements can be met in varying degrees, including reaching a point where the nutrient is no longer beneficial. The extracellular fluids can be optimally-concentrated, sub-optimally concentrated, or overly concentrated. You can think of this in terms of hydration—yes, you can be dehydrated. You can be optimally-hydrated. And you can most definitely be over-hydrated.

Here’s another little pearl of mainstream wisdom I’m sure you’ve head before to justify drinking water all the time: “By the time you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.”

That’s like saying, “Once you feel hungry, your body already needs food.” Duh. Having a need for food or water is not a problem you need to prevent—it’s a normal part of being alive. Just listen to the signals your body gives you—feed when hungry, drink when thirsty, sleep when tired. A huge key to health that most people seem to miss these days.

What’s actually much more common—especially with the health-conscious crowd (which would be almost everyone reading this)—than dehydration is overhydration. People are so paranoid about becoming dehydrated, yet almost no one is even considering the possibility that the pendulum could swing too far to the other side with this. It can, and it does, and it’s dangerous. I would even go so far as to say that it’s more dangerous than dehydration, because it’s not as easily detectable. Dehydration is far easier to recognize. But most don’t really know what to look for with water intoxication, nor do they correlate the symptoms with the right problem so it can be addressed.

How do you know when you’re overly-hydrated? Here’s a list of common symptoms of water intoxication:

  • Cold extremities (hands, feet, and/or nose)
  • Low body temperature
  • Having to urinate frequently
  • Peeing in the middle of the night
  • Headaches
  • Muscle spasms, twitching
  • Brain fog/decreased mental clarity
  • Impaired emotion regulation/irritability
  • Insomnia and poor sleep quality
  • Fatigue
  • Dry mouth (ironically. Usually only in more severe cases)

What’s happening when you become overhydrated, is that extracellular fluid is becoming too dilute. That signals a stress response in the body, meaning that hormones which are designed to deal with acute and immediate stressors are being activated continunously, and will continue to be activated, the more a person is in a stressed and hypometabolic state. And the more the person continues to perpetuate the problem by drinking more and more water. Not good.

6.) Too much water inhibits digestion

To properly digest your food, you need appropriate levels of bile salts, hydrochloric acid, and other components of gastric acid. You also need a high-functioning metabolism. Drinking too much water can crash all of those things and cause digestion to suffer.

In a way, the time that you’re eating a plate of food is probably the best to be drinking straight water, if you’re going to drink it. That’s because the straight water is no longer just that—it becomes water mixed with food in your belly. But on the other hand, it’s possible to overdo it and negate all the metabolism-stoking benefits of the food you’re eating, if you’re washing down your meal with a half gallon of water.

However, that doesn’t mean that you should stop listening to your body while you’re eating, just cause you’re worried about flushing out all your gastric juices. Eating the right kinds of foods to support metabolic health can make you quite thirsty—and that’s okay. Drinking to satisfy that thirst is fine, but downing a liter of water a half-hour before a meal can drown your stomach in fluids to the point where it has difficulty maintaining proper levels of digestive assimilants.

7.) Too much water adversely affects blood sugar.

Just like with salt and electrolytes, water flushes sugar out of the system. So if you’re hypoglycemic, with too little sugar in the bloodstream, and are drinking a bunch of water, you’re flushing out what little precious blood sugar you’ve got.

If you’re not hypoglycemic, and instead have a tendency to hyperglycemia, or blood sugar levels that are too high, guzzling water isn’t the answer. Blood sugar stability is very closely correlated with metabolic rate—and that’s because the body’s metabolic rate affects how well your liver regulates glucose input and output, stored carbohydrates in the liver, fatty acids in your bloodstream, insulin sensitivity and more. These are all factors in glucose metabolism, which governs your blood sugar levels. When your extracellular fluids are concentrated appropriately—and not diluted with water all day long— it allows that metabolic system to do its job, which includes clearing sugar from the bloodstream and sending it into the cells, so that it can be used as fuel, or to be stored as glycogen.

What it all comes down to, is this next reason not to drink 8 glasses of water a day—by far the most important one:

8.) You’re killing your metabolism

The bottom line on overhydration is that it diminishes optimal performance of your body’s systems, instead of improving them. And that’s because overhydration inhibits metabolism. How important is your metabolism?

Well, considering it supports the life of your body down to the cellular level and impacts every single physiological system within it, I’d say it’s pretty key.

When your fluids are filled with too much water, your cells become too flooded to produce energy the way they’re supposed to. Electrolytes and glucose are the cells’ source of energy—kind of like little batteries for your mitochondria. So when this happens, your cellular metabolism—that process of taking in fuel and producing energy—is shot.

This triggers a stress response, with your body overproducing hormones like adrenaline, and just generally causing your body to freak out on the inside, without you even realizing it. Because your cells aren’t getting enough of what they need to produce energy, your body will try to conserve as much energy as it can. One of the first things your body will do to accomplish that is reduce circulation, because it wants to keep blood flow closer to vital organs—instead of your hands and feet, which is why they get cold. So, feeling cold hands and feet is  a good sign that your stress response is being activated, and a damaging cascade of stress hormones has begun to flow. This is your body lowering its metabolism, just so its most basic functions can continue to work. Think of a low metabolism as being “thrifty” with your energy resources.

And when that happens chronically, such as is the case with people who have a Nalgene permanently cemented to their hand, it becomes even more difficult for for cells to hold onto the salts and sugar they need to work. It gets increasingly easier to become water intoxicated—with hyponatremia, low specific gravity of urine, and so forth—the more your metabolism continues to decline.

Drinking too much water, day in and day out, perpetuates this cycle and leads to all the problems associated with a lowered metabolism. And it can be so easily prevented if you just drink according to your body’s needs!

How much water should you drink?

Not “half your body weight in ounces.”

Not “8, 8 ounce glasses per day.”

Not any standardized, sweeping generalization of a blanket statement that’s not designed for your own specific needs which are far too variable for anyone to be giving you an exact prescription to follow.

But I do have an answer to the question. Are you ready for this? My totally radical, revolutionary, earth-shattering advice on the amount of water you should be drinking?

Drink when you’re thirsty. The end.

No, seriously. You don’t have to drink water for any other reason than that. And if you do, you could run into some significant problems. Try to become more aware of how much fluid you’re taking in, in proportion to the amount of energy (calories) you consume. If you throw that balance off, your metabolism is bound to suffer.

Generally, what you want to look for to make sure you’re not overdoing it, is that your urine has a nice yellow color to it, and that you only have to urinate once every few hours. 4-6 times per day is probably ideal, while being able to sleep through the night without having to go.

Have you been totally screwing it up thus far and drinking to the point of overhydration? Feel like you need a little more guidance to figure out how to do this right and drink based off of your body’s signals and feedback? I can’t recommend the book, Eat for Heat, highly enough. My friend Matt Stone is kind of a crazy guy, and his style is a bit of an acquired taste, but he’s one of the smartest dudes out there when it comes to this kind of stuff.

Check out Eat for Heat, the best guide I can recommend for altering your dietary (and drinking) habits to improve your metabolism and overall health, here:


PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog, including Amazon.com links. I only recommend products I genuinely love, and that I believe would be of value to my readers. Thank you for your support!

MEDICAL DISCLOSURE: Your health is between you and your health care practitioner. Nothing in this blog is intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations is at the choice and risk of the reader.

167 Responses to 8 Reasons NOT to Drink 8 Glasses of Water A Day
  1. Ladonna says:

    GREAT article! I have his book and I agree this is an epidemic. I have almost all those symptoms. I really need to implement some of his suggestions. It’s just hard to “unlearn” what we have had shoved down our throats so long!

  2. C says:

    Yeah except when you get kidney stones- plural- because you only drank when you were thirsty. There’s a huge- I mean huge- gap between 64 oz of water a day and hyponatremia. Trust me.

    • Leah says:

      You’re assuming the kidney stones were caused by not enough water. That’s the mainline MD doctrine, but it’s totally debatable.

      • ButterBeliever says:

        In other words, it’s completely false. Lol.

      • Sarah says:

        I have had many kidney stones and drank the 8 8oz glass of water or more a day and had to have several removed. I stopped drinking and eat add calcium foods and boxed and canned food to a few a month and I have not has any in over a year and i was getting them about every 3 months before.

    • Faye says:

      Totally agree! (with above comment). And the article mentions, when we are hungry we need to eat! Don’t think so. Americans are hungry all the time. We eat all the time. We are becoming an obese people. I am still for 64 oz of water a day. That isn’t going to throw our electrolyte balance off. It is going to keep our ‘inner workings’ functioning smoothly!

      • Alleyne says:

        Actually, it’s not that we’re hungry all the time. it’s that we don’t know how to listen to our hunger signals. We eat shortly after we wake up not necessarily because we’re hungry yet, but because we’re told breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and because we can’t eat a proper breakfast meal at work, and we know we can’t wait until lunchtime to eat, so we don’t have a choice. We eat at a specific lunch “time” because that’s when we’re permitted to leave work (or when school permits us to) and it doesn’t matter if we’re not really hungry after a good breakfast or if we’re overly hungry because we skipped breakfast or its been too long since. We eat dinner when we can after a long day of work, then snack at night because we can, it’s our only unrestricted time to eat. And because at least the first two, if not all three of our meals are eating during a time crunch, we jam our food in, not waiting between bites, not giving our brains time to process our satiation and give us the signal “that’s enough!”

        If we had lifestyles that allowed us to recognize and respond to our hunger, if the majority of us, especially women, weren’t dieting from very young ages and told repeatedly to ignore our hunger or even that it’s virtuous to be hungry and do nothing about it to the point that we don’t genuinely recognize our hunger any more, and if we knew how to eat to satiate our hunger intuitively rather than prescriptively, we’d all be better off for it, obese or otherwise.

      • Lauren says:

        Americans (and I am one… so I know) eat burgers and fried foods all the time. Americans are fat because we don’t take the time to learn how to buy, cook, and eat healthy foods (chicken, brown rice, oatmeal, etc.). It just takes far less knowledge, skill, time, and effort to eat fast food than it does to learn how to bake a chicken breast.

      • Amanda says:

        Agreed. The article focuses on over hydration facts which is extremely rare to happen because the gap between 64oz and over hydration is immense as mentioned by someone here earlier.

        This article was clearly written by someone who does not know enough about the human body to write about it. BTW… peeing all the time is a consequence of drinking water, peeing in the middle of the night is a consequence of drinking water before bed.

        General rule… if you pee is not LIGHT yellow or colorless, you arent drinking enough.

    • rae says:

      my father’s and sister’s kidney stones were caused by too much calcium and not enough acidic drinks to help break up the calcium deposits. water isn’t enough, drink more cranberry juice and lemonade.

  3. joanne says:

    One word on this article… Rubbish!

    • ButterBeliever says:

      Ahh… finally! Was waiting for my first troll on this one. Thanks for breaking the ice!

    • Tommarroww says:

      . . . o_0 So sound conclusions based on credible science is rubbish vs. a general recommendation based on suggestive science? It’s a wonder people even managed to function before humanity was ‘enlightened’ that it doesn’t drink enough water.

  4. David says:

    eeek some of those conclusions have other possible causes

  5. Some good points, but I have yet to have an over-hydrated client, and a solid 90% are dehydrated. Being in Texas could be an element, but I think there is also a learning curve. Until you can get ENOUGH water for normal function, it is very difficult to tell when you are thirsty, especially as we get older. The standard American ‘more is better’ response could lead to problems, which is why having a nutrition professional on call can be a great help. And my experience with clients with kidney stone problems is that they are low magnesium. All of the minerals in the body have a balancing mineral, and when that balance gets whacked, you lose function. Calcium in water, supplements and dairy are very available in SAD (Standard American Diet) but magnesium is not. Additionally, stress, especially with alcohol consumption, torches Mg. Because it is a muscle relaxant, supplements are problematic (it relaxes your colon as well, and gives you the runs…) so topically, in the form of epsom salt baths, or in a spray can be useful.

  6. Tina says:

    Every body is so different, this is why its so important to know yours! If I don’t drink around 2.5 to 3 quarts of water each day I feel awful! Im also a nursing mother and I eat a very healthy whole foods diet. The first quart is drank by breakfast time normally, when I don’t at least drink that the rest of my day is left feeling lethargic and bloated.And yes, I only drink when I am thirsty, but like I said I am a nursing mother with a child who still nurses several times a day and night at 1 year old. I am also not a very large person, 120lbs. If I only drank the recommended 8 glasses and didn’t listen to my body I would be in trouble. I would also add that no matter how much water you drink a day, please make sure its CLEAN water. We have a Berkey water filter that we just love!

    • Tina says:

      Oh and I also live in Texas, spend lots of time active and outside. Summer I drink more water then in winter obviously.

    • Michaela says:

      I totally agree!!! I specifically said this to someone else; re: this blog post. Each person is different & this post is NOT the gospel truth as it’s worded. I also don’t understand why when someone disagrees they are listed as a troll ^^ :(

      • Dawn Martin says:

        I was puzzled with that remark also Michaela.

        • Nef says:

          The troll remark was after a post that only said, “Rubbish.” Honestly, it wasn’t a very good comment. If it’s “Rubbish,” say why it is “Rubbish.” When people support their conclusions, they foster interesting discussion. When people post a one word disparagement, not only is it trolling, it’s white noise in what could otherwise be an exchange of ideas.

          I drink in excess of 64 oz of water per day, sometimes–and I only drink when I’m thirsty. I put it down to metabolism, outdoor temperature and activity level. I trust my body to know what it’s doing.

          I had a boss one time who virtuously told me that I needed to drink 8 glasses of water per day. I picked up the cooler I brought with me, figured out how many times I usually refilled it during a day and I asked her why I should cut down.

          Please note that I was biking back and forth to work and it was summer.

          • ButterBeliever says:

            I think I like you, Nef. :)

            64+ ounces could definitely be appropriate in certain situations and for certain people. You’re a good example of that.

  7. I would like to add that especially w/ my kids, if I wait until thirst, clear “dehydration” issues show up. headaches, fatigue, etc. Kids especially aren’t tuned in to their bodies and need a reminder.

    • jasmine says:

      *Kids especially aren’t tuned in to their bodies and need a reminder*

      I have 3 kids and I have to beg to differ (depending on the ages). My kids let me know when they are hungry, have to use the bathroom or use it own their own, let me know when they are hot/thirsty and want water. Their ages range from 12,5 & 4. But I speak of the 2 little ones since the eldest one is self sufficient.

  8. Holly says:

    I mostly agree with this. But, I think it’s important to take into account that we live (vast majority of us) such UNNATURALLY hectic lives that all of our natural signals are off. We get so tied up and distracted constantly that I know I forget to and neglect MANY of my body’s signals. To compensate for that I would add that the more busy you are- the more you should try to remind yourself to drink a little more than letting your body just signal you to be on the safe side since its so hard to rehydrate once you’re really dried out. Also- so much we find ourselves stuck in the car, at the store, in line somewhere when we’re busy without water available close at hand. This helps an unnatural level of dehydration along. In short- I think our modern hectic lifestyle can encourage SOME dehydration and that’s why it’s emphasized. A trick that helps me is when I’m out on a busy running around day I’ll make sure I have water in the car, a nalgene strapped to me while waiting at the PO or wherever. While waiting in line. Somewhere. That way I know I can compensate a little while there. I agree though that we should not be constantly shoving water down our throats to meet some calculated daily quota!

  9. Katie says:

    Thank you for this post!

    For years, probably a decade at least, I drank well over the recommended 8, 8oz glasses and I was thirsty all. the. time. I was thirsty every second of every day. I even thought I might be pre-diabetic (even though I’m relatively thin, eat well and my blood sugar tests came back fine) because, along with that thirst, I would go from not hungry to RAVENOUS in t-minus 60 seconds.

    After reading more about water and metabolism, I cut back on water and I’m no longer thirsty all the time, I’m thirst when I’m actually thirsty! The more I read, the more I think it was affecting my blood sugar and causing a crash when I’d get hungry to the point where I would be shakey and couldn’t think of anything but eating.

    Thanks for taking the time to do the all this research. Up until a few months ago, I would have never, ever thought drinking too much water was the problem without blogs like yours!

  10. Maureen says:

    I drink water all day and am constantly getting up to go to the bathroom. My blood sugar is always fine at my yearly checkup so I’m not diabetic. I have dry mouth (a symptom according to your article) and want more water right now, LOL. I think I drink about 6 bottles during the work day alone. So, sounds like I should cut down.

    • Morgan says:

      I AGREE! I have a water bottle with me ALL the time and am known for how often I use the bathroom. I feel really thirsty right now, but there is no reason I should be thirsty after all the water I’ve been drinking! I am going to try drinking less water and see what happens.

  11. Bethani says:

    Thank you!!! Great info! Need to show hubby this. When I told him that all those bottles of water hes drinking at work are not needed or good for him, he just rolled his eyes. I totally agree that we just need to listen to our body’s, they will tell us all we need to know.

  12. Emma says:

    I actually regularly eat butter by the spoon- or bite-full. Delicious! XD

  13. Amanda says:

    Fascinating perspective. I think there were two points that make me really consider this. First, mainstream medicine is wrong about so much, so why do we firmly believe the 8,8 OR more!? Secondly, in nearly everything else we should strive for moderation thus, this makes complete sense that we should at least stop and think about it.

  14. LR says:

    My body does not naturally crave water. I crave the yummy sugarloaded fruit juices but not water. I have to tell myself to drink and drink water. When I do drink 8 glasses my skin is clearer and my bowels are happy.

    • ButterBeliever says:

      There’s a reason for that. Your body needs sugar. Glucose is your cells’ primary and preferred source of fuel. Listen to your body when it wants it.

  15. melanie says:

    I had heard this rumor milling around the real food circles but hadn’t heard all the reasons. Thanks for the info.

    My only addition would be that pregnant and nursing women should drink more than others. Constant peeing is not a sign of too much water when your prego.

    Your uterus can stall in labor if it is under hydrated and the Wharton’s jelly in the umbilical cord is made up of mostly water. The more you drink the more cushy it becomes and less harm can come to baby if the cord is wrapped around the neck or it gets bent.

    Anyway, I’ve been pregnant and/or nursing for a majority of the last 9 years so it’s where I am, and I just thought I’d throw it out there.

  16. Laura says:

    When I was pregnant, I was thirsty CONSTANTLY. I am sure I drank 12-16 glasses of water a day (I could easily drink 64 ounces of iced tea in a sitting – I LOVED iced tea when I was pregnant – I’m indifferent to it now). That was also in July/August while working as a waitress (lots of running around and carrying stuff). Now that I’m breastfeeding and not working, I don’t get thirsty the same way, but if I don’t drink enough water my milk supply dips. So I think this may not apply in unusual circumstances, like pregnancy/breastfeeding. My husband gets kidney stones. Since he started making a point of drinking more water, he has not had them. He is also on a magnesium supplement, and magnesium plays a big role in the prevention of oxalate stones. I think it’s good to tailor health “instructions” to fit your personal situation. Hot climate = higher need for water. Ditto for pregnancy/breastfeeding (higher blood supply/milk production). Ditto for lots of physical labor. But I’m sure a 6’2″ 200 lb man needs a lot more water than I, as a 5’2″ 118 lb woman needs. One size definitely does not fit all.

  17. Danielle N. says:

    Hi there,

    Firstly, I love the theme of your website. Secondly, I completely support the ideas behind your philosophy on water consumption – it makes sense. Listen to your body. Be intuitive. With most things in life, I think this is the best policy. AND I’m the first person to admit that western medical practitioners, the CDC, the USDA..etc. often don’t have the foggiest idea of what they’re doing – especially when it comes to nutrition. I also love the fluid alternatives like coconut water, kombucha, and bone broths. However, I’m not sure I can agree with your stance on water based on own personal experience.

    I do have a hard time drinking enough water. I’m actually typically aiming for something closer to 10 cups/day. On a good day, I’ll reach my goal. On a bad day, I’ll have closer 3 or even 2. I’ve noticed a few things about my body with my varying amounts of water consumption.

    1.) When I get into a non-water drinking rut I find it perpetuates my lack of thirst. In other words, the less water I drink, the less water I want to drink. I’ll get to the point after several day to a week of not drinking enough and suddenly it’s 7pm and I think, oh my god, did I drink any water today?!

    2.) When I’m in the aforementioned non-water drinking rut, I notice dramatic indications of dehydration (I’m a RN so its not hard to miss). These include dry cracking & itchy skin – especially my hands; cracked, dry lips; a dry mouth; headaches; lethargy; UTI – like symptoms; bright yellow urine; and urine with a high specific gravity and low pH. In short, I don’t feel great.

    3.) When I FORCE myself to drink closer to 10 cups per day those symptoms of dehydration disappear. It’s not intuitive and often not pleasant but the result is, I feel better overall.

    4.) When I get back into a good water drinking habit, regularly drinking closer to 10 cups, my thirst increases. I actually enjoy drinking more. Sometimes it’s still challenging, but the more I’m drinking the easier it is. To me, this seems to suggest that my body’s ability to sense what I need or perhaps my brain’s ability to pick up on signals from my kidneys may be impaired in some way after bouts of chronic dehydration – and that forcing myself to drink the water I need resets my system and kick starts my awareness of thirst.

    Also, I’d like to mention that I am not an elder (some seniors start to lose their appetite and sense of thirst as they age), I’m in my late 20’s so there isn’t any underlying physical issue for me.

    In short, while I understand where you’re coming from. I’m not sure it’s true that simply listening to your body about water consumption is always the best route. As a nurse, most of the people I’ve encountered seem to be severely dehydrated, simply based on the symptoms their exhibiting.

    Your thoughts?

    – Danielle

  18. Danielle N. says:

    My apologies for several grammatical typos *they’re exhibiting* not their.. that’s a huge pet peeve of mine! Also, I was reminded to add after reading LR’s post – I also become extremely constipated and uncomfortable while in my non-water drinking ruts. As soon as I start forcing myself again my bowels are in great shape and I never have any issues. Sometimes feeling ‘backed up’ is what reminds me, ‘oh yes, I haven’t been drinking enough water lately.’

  19. Mali Korsten says:

    Amen to this post!

  20. Anne says:

    I never imagined I could be getting too much water and actually flushing out vitamins, minerals and electrolytes. I am going back to drinking water only when I am thirsty. And I thought urine should have a yellow tinge rather than be clear.

  21. Meagan says:

    This article lacks science. Also, you have to be careful. Many people don’t ever “get thirsty” so the advice to “drink when you’re thirsty” wouldn’t work. People who are very sick and / or have hormonal issues sometimes don’t feel hungry or thirsty, and rules like 8 glasses of water a day and 3 square meals are good guidelines.

  22. Renee Kohley says:

    Dude…I’m still cracking up from the first part of this post and it has taken me almost a half hour to read the whole thing LOL :)

    Great post – thank you for all the time you put into writing this :) Pinning for future morons who ask me why I’m not carrying around a jug of water because I’m pregnant and the baby is mostly water and is taking all mine so really I need 16oz of water everyday 😉

  23. M.B. says:

    The article is interesting but I dint see much scientific proof of what they are saying. Have you heard about this book? “Your Body’s Many Cries for Water” By: Dr. Fereydoon Batmanghelidj He raises some good points and backs them up with scientific evidence. The amount of people that he has helped using his method of re hydration reaches the thousands. Take a look at the site his fans made http://www.watercure2.com

  24. Lisa says:

    What a shocker! yet another controversial standpoint from Matt Stone! Does this guy ever just go along with anything? I bet he’s a nightmare to live with. Its total nonsense too. Always trusting the body is not sound advice. My body, left to its own devices, would be munching on chocolate, crisps and haribo all day if i let it…as would children if we didn’t influence their decisions. The thirst mechanism does get shut down because the body assumes we’re not in an area where there is sufficient water supply and so rather than continually pestering us it settles down until we secure a new site and begin drinking again at which point our thirst goes crazy and it feels like you can’t take in enough! Seriously Matt…get yourself an ‘I’m different’ T-shirt and give it a rest.

    • ButterBeliever says:

      Google “8 glasses water a day” and about half the results are from articles stating that this is a myth and is bad advice. Many go on to explain the basic physiology behind why that is— the effects of hyponatremia, etc. Matt is not the only person saying this. Neither am I.

      • Laetitian says:

        Do you even realise you have completely ignored Lisa’s only actual argument?
        She did not merely state: “I think Matt Stone is compulsively controversial. Do you think so, too?”, but validated her proposition by saying that according to whatever your body lets you feel you would need is not going to lead you to a very healthy body.

        Your instincts are led by hormones. Their production is influenced by precautionary assumptions of your cells, as well as their very, very momentary cravings. If you are going to obey to both, you will not fulfill either purpose.

      • Sarah says:

        In Chinese medicine we also advise people to drink according to desire. And to remember how much water comes from foods. We see a lot of issues in patient s who force feed themselves water. It seems as though people cannot understand that we are not advocating dehydration. They also seem not to be able to understand that plain water is inferior at rehydrating. Why is this so difficult to understand?

        So yes. Matt stone is certainly not the only person who has tried to educate about the silliness of chugging plain water because there is an American cultural myth that we need to drown ourselves in it to be well. Thousands of very well educated acupuncturists do this daily.

    • SWilcox says:

      Actually, a study done with children presented with a variety of foods resulted in the kids choosing a balanced diet. Not every meal was balanced, but the overall impact was a balanced diet. I’m sure kids who have been denied sweets would probably gorge on sweets–at least at the outset. But they balance it themselves before too long.

      That said, to trust one’s body, one have to be in touch with the body and sensitive to its signals. This article is dead on, in my opinion. And delightfully written as well!

    • N says:

      Lisa, that’s because you’re identifying false needs in your mind, not actually listening to your body. If you’re craving chocolate or ice cream, your body most likely is telling you that it needs sugar, which you can easily get from fruit. There’s a difference. Your false needs stem from your eating habits. I have a niece who is only 2 years old, and yet she knows when she’s hungry and wants to eat vegetables and fruits. This is because her parents did not feed her all sorts of junk foods and processed foods, but fed her natural foods. She voices when she wants waters or when she is hungry, and she enjoys eating things like tomatoes and strawberries. I’ve never heard her once ask for something junky like ice cream because she doesn’t have unhealthy eating habits, so she really knows what foods she wants.

  25. Lisa says:

    A similar phenomena occurs with anorexia where the less the person eats the more their appetite diminishes. Do we advocate them trusting their bodies and eventually dying? or cramming the food in to active an appetite again?

    • Marissa says:

      Anorexia is a mental condition, so no, I would not think they should be trusted. I also wouldn’t think an alcoholic would be
      wise to listen to their body either. Can we stay on topic? We could play the woulda, coulda, shoulda game with tons of conditions and get no where. If your of sounds mind and you get thirsty, drink for pete’s sake. If your not thirsty, the reasons above are things to consider not drinking just to drink.

  26. Marissa says:

    Wow! You really struck cord with this topic, who knew?!
    I am even more interested in doing my homework on this subject
    because everyone seems so bent on you being wrong.
    Thanks for your article and don’t be discouraged. You’ve made people think, at least me.

  27. Personally, as a breastfeeding mom, I get dehydrated SOOOOOO easily, I rarely ever want to drink and if I didn’t make myself drink, I get dehydrated and dizzy and would pass out, not to mention not having enough milk. And thats with having over 8 glasses of water a day. I’ve made myself drink a full gallon and a half in one day and I finally, finally felt myself coming out of the fog/tiredness of builtup dehydration.
    Thing is- I rarely drink water. I drink kombucha and water kefir and water with lemon and homemade healthy sports drink made with sea salt and lemon and honey and water, tea made from various wild greens, etc… Too much WATER might not be good, but you definitely need a lot of liquid.

  28. Rahul Sharma says:

    OMG, First time I’ve seen that someone is stopping to drink 8 glasses of water a day. So many people preferred to drink as much water as I can. Drinking water improve our health, but today I knew something different.

    May be your suggestions and reasons are good at your places.

    BTW, Thanks for sharing great information. :)

  29. I really liked this article, as always I value your research, I just wish people would understand that any information they find it’s intended as general information and they have the duty to to their homework. That said, I’m just confused with the over-hydration symptoms many of those are “commonly known” as dehydration symptoms, particularly headaches. Now I won’t feel as bad for only drinking water whenever I feel my body needs it! Thank you!

  30. Love this post. Is there a Like button somewhere that I cannot find?

    I agree with Matt Stone’s position on the water on the whole and yet I have found data that shows things are more complicated than “just drink when you are thirsty.” Here is an example. People with way too much yin from a Chinese Medicine (TCM) standpoint – e.g, patterns of dampness or cold – or too much Kapha from an Ayurvedic view, have no desire to drink much. Bear mind mind these are pathological patterns that if you show to an Ayurvedic medicine practitioner they will say show indications of ama, the Ayurvedic terminology for toxicity coming from, in many cases, improperly digested food. As an example, one the of the simple Ayurvedic prescriptions is for many people to consume certain herbs and spices to reduce ama, either pungent or bitter or both. Use of these herbs will naturally tend to create more thirst. TCM protocols will tend to have similar effects. When I started to take herbs that drain dampness such as cardamom I became more thirsty and started drinking more. Another measure is to consume more dried food and foods that have drying and diuretic properties like celery.

    Another objection comes from RBTI. According to RBTI, two of the toxic wastes that result from calcium deficient foods, both real and processed, include improperly metabolized salts and ureas. One way to gradually eliminate these wastes is through systemic drinking of distilled water. As a example, my grandmother is rarely thirsty and yet she is loaded with the above crap. Of course, one can take other measures to increase thirst such as saunas, exercise, wearing warmer clothes and energetically warmer (yang) foods from both a TCM and Ayurvedic perspective. Incidentally, saunas, exercise and adjusting energetics of foods as needed all move the body to better health when done appropriately.

    In summary, this argument of drinking when thirsty makes sense only when the body is functioning properly and in harmony. Some people benefit from consuming 6-8 or more cups of water per day, depending on climate, constitution, etc. Other don’t need nearly as much. No cookie cutter formula.

    Selected references









  31. Dennis says:

    8 glasses per day will not cause hyponatremia, or overhydration as stated. It is a condition suffered by endurance athletes who drink closer to 10l, not 2l.
    8 glasses per day will not cause me to flush out electrolytes.
    Drinking only when I’m thirsty WILL cause me to develop headaches when exercising.

    • ButterBeliever says:

      Ah, okay. Thanks for informing me, Dennis. Lol.

      It won’t cause hyponatremia in absolutely everyone who follows the practice. If you have a good, healthy, high metabolic rate, you will require more water than someone who does not, and are much less prone to hyponatremia.

      Like any other condition, there are varying degrees to this. I’m not necessarily talking about a state of hyponatremia so acute that you’re on your death bed, here. Mild, chronic hyponatremia is very common, and causes a sustained stress response and systemic dysfunction.

      There’s a very easy way to tell if that’s what’s going on for you. What’s the color of your pee when you drink your 8 glasses? What’s your body temperature?

  32. Vivian says:

    (Also an Rn) I TOTALLY agree with the article and have said this for years. I drink a lot of coffee, tea, kombucha and a little water. No problems with constipation, dry skin, etc. I have always felt that the water IN my drinks count!! Why not…remember your chemistry? H20 is H20! I do feel we must be careful with the younger, older, or “just too busy” crowd. We do need to listen to the signals our body sends. I especially agree with not drinking WHILE eating (at least not too much) which lowers ur stomach acid and hinders digestion. thanks for a wonderful article.

  33. Vivian says:

    *RN* *”lowers your stomach acid”* I am typing with a poodle on my lap! :)

  34. […] varies from 64 ounces a day to half your body weight in ounces daily.  I read this recently: 8 Reasons NOT to Drink 8 Glasses of Water A Day.  In most cases we are not following our body’s cues and are actually over […]

  35. I think more people are dehydrated than overhydrated. It is pretty difficult to be over-hydrated because the body has a way of getting rid of excess water — via urination and sweating. But it is quite difficult for the body to compensate for the lack of water. It can not make its own water.

    So drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day in addition to the water in your food is quite reasonable. The only time you don’t want to drink too much water is during eating because it can dilute the effectiveness of your stomach acid. But drinking before eating is fine.

  36. D says:

    I kind of agree with some of the points in the article, but where are the sources for this information? A lot of it seems to be just opinion.

  37. Rachel says:

    Great article, speaks to my experience. Reading it, i was reminded of something I read in Thomas Cowen’s book The Fourfold Path to Healing. Cowen states, in Chapter 3 p. 145, that fats, especially Saturated fats, when metabolized in the body, convert to water. He gives the example that consumption of 10 grams of fat releases 10 grams of water, 10 grams of protein releases 4 grams of water, and 10 grams of carbohydrates releases 6 grams of water. He does add that in order for this liberation of water to occur, sufficient oxygen must be present in the blood. When you mention eating butter by the spoonful, I see that as a way of staying hydrated.

  38. […] water, none of which I counted.  And I possibly might never bother keeping track of that again.  See this article on why it might not be such a great idea to guzzle water all day long.  Thanks again, Elizabeth, for the link.  I have really enjoyed reading through that blog so […]

  39. […] That means your diet needs to be balanced between sources of caloric energy, sodium, and fluids. Drinking too much water, and not eating enough sources of glucose and salt, can cause your metabolism to crash, and your […]

  40. […] your fluids become too diluted, this creates a serious stress on the metabolism, which is why I don’t recommend drinking large amounts of water all day long just because you read some article in a magazine that said you should. (My […]

  41. […] more thirsty, maybe 6 litres a day… ish? Nobody needs that much water. For so many reasons. 8 Reasons NOT to Drink 8 Glasses of Water A Day | Butter Believer Hydration 101: How Much Water Do You Really Need? Drink Less Water? | Mark's Daily Apple […]

  42. I love when things like this comes out cause I seriously can not handle that much water in one day.

  43. Kay Richards says:

    THANK YOU!!! I have been dieting since February, and trying to force myself to drink 8 cups of water (in addition to green tea, coffee, soup, etc.). Everyday I feel “water-logged” and bloated until I want to throw up! I have lost a lot of weight, but I hate this feeling! I am going to get the “Eat for Heat” book; I got a sample on my Kindle and it lokks awesome!

  44. Carmen Z. says:

    Thought-provoking article. Good points on the hydration-dehydration debate. While, you’re right, you can get overhydrated, I have seen where most people don’t drink enough. I’ve personally asked many (especially school-aged children) people how much water they drink and the usual answer is 0-1 cups of water per day. Is that enough? What about active exercisers? By the time I am done with a grueling 45-minute Kettlebell-class, I am dripping wet in sweat, very thirsty and all I can think about is why I didn’t bring enough water to class. I was amazed to read your comments about Dr. Weston Price. I have followed his work for years and now your article makes me want to go and look for his comments on water. I agree with you that maybe as a society we’ve swung the pendulum in the extreme direction of “over-hydration” but actually that’s not a bad thing because most people will never swing that far. They will settle somewhere in the middle of both extremes. You gave me a lot to think about. By the way, have you ever read “Your Body’s Many Cries for Water” By F. Batmanghelidj. It was eye-opening! Thanks for all the great info.

  45. Anna says:

    FINALLY SOME COMMON SENSE!!!! I can’t tell you how much I loved your article! I have been thinking this since I was little. I don’t ever force myself to drink water! just like I wouldn’t force myself to pee, eat, cry,sleep or any other thing that your body knows HOW and WHEN to do! Bye I have always been thin and extremely healthy. (26 years old, 5′ 8 and 115 lbs) my friends who tell me to drink more are not as healthy and always struggling with their weight. Hmmm…

  46. Lauren says:

    What about nursing mothers? I feel like I have to drink lots of water to keep my milk supply up.

    • Sarah says:

      Nursing is a really different state of physiology. Ones water demands would likely increase significantly. Which is why nursing moms all talk about how thirsty they are!

  47. Wesley Elliott says:

    I disagree with every statement that was made. I’m a 19 year old I’m a little bit bigger but I’m fairly healthy. I eat good balanced meals and I eat three off them a day. I aldo drink close to 200oz a day. Now most of you would say “omg that’s so bad for you” well its not. Since iv starting consuming this amount of water about 2 months ago iv lost 30lbs (haven’t changed any of my eating or excercise habits) iv started to sleep much better at night and my mood and general happiness has gone sky high. I love how I feel more energized and I love that I’m losing weight. Now the only down side I see to this is that I have to pee A LOT but when I’m at work 8 hours a day taking my pee break every hour and a half is actually kind of refreshing. Its like my a mini break. I get 3-4 minutes of a break from work. All the symptoms that you stated I would see I have yet to come across. My body is working great. I’m staying hydrated. My metabalism is working better then it ever has (which shows because I’m losing weight) so no I believe you want to just be that rebelious person who says something with me facts or evidence to back you up.

  48. Carey says:

    Yeh, that “Eight, 8oz cups a day” has been around for as long as I remember. I figured it was a generic guideline that shouldn’t be taken as nutrition dogma, but I guess some people do, or this article wouldn’t exist. I have known people to proudly express how much water they drank, sometimes holding a depleted gallon jug up as a badge of honor.
    I love fresh, cold water, but I don’t gag down more water than I want. I feel good drinking water throughout the day, some days a lot more/less than others depending on activities, desire, or whether I have even given it any thought. I always feel the need to drink during a meal, and have often wondered if that was negatively impacting my digestive process. I guess I am still not sure, and have some researching to do.
    An interesting way I learned about over hydration is through a source that I wouldn’t consider “educational”. See, I don’t “diet”, and would not normally enlist in a commercial diet center, but a decade ago, after a severe back injury (since recovered), I gained a bunch of weight rather quickly. Concerned that the weight gain would only exacerbated the back issue, I was keen on doing something/anything about it. Not having the capacity or energy to move, I utilized a local “LA weight-loss” center whose program focused on eating certain foods for weight loss (again, this was a one time thing). As with any “diet” it worked for the short term, which is all I really needed. The interesting part that relates to your post, is that they did not want me to drink too much water and educated me about hyponatremia. They said “no more than 64 ounces a day”, and chastised me when I was consuming 100oz or so at times. As then, as I do now, I drink water when it feels satisfying to do so. I’m sipping some as I type this. 😉
    As always, thought provoking article. Thanks for the time you take to put these posts together. ~Carey

  49. Tabitha says:

    This was a nice read. I suppose everyone is different though bc I drink a lot of water a day and the only one of the symptoms I experience is frequent urination. Which is no problem for me. I feel better when I drink more. I also exercise pretty intensely, not sure if that has any effect or not? Also, when I am very thirsty I do feel like I’m hungry even when I’m really not hungry. I can tell difference when it’s caused by thirst and true hunger. I do agree that it is most likely not a good thing to drink too much just as it is not a good thing to drink too little. I am going to continue to drink 6 to 8 cups a day though, bc that is what works for me and when I feel my best physically. I would not drink until I felt bad though no matter what anyone said was good for me or not. However, there was one time that I did experience the over hydration. Just abt every symptom you named. I had to take a urine test and could not for the life of me urinate, lol. I literally chugged about 6 or 8 dixie cups full of water back to back. I felt HORRIBLE!! The cloudy brain etc… just awful. Thanks for the article. =)

    • Tabitha says:

      also like to add that I eat a small meal at least every 2 to 3 hours a day. that may also effect my water needs compared to others?

  50. Nephi says:

    Thank you for this article. I’m going to be monitoring my fluid intake a more after having read this article. I’ve had chronic headaches and drowsiness for quite some time, and after reading this article I think I know why. I regularly drink massive amounts of water, and I thought this was being healthy. I have a 32 oz cup from McDonalds that I drink from as I’m on my computer and most days I drink atleast 4 of these size cups of water, equaling over 128 oz of water per day. I’ve always thought it’s annoying to have to go to the restroom so frequently, but always thought it must be good for me since people are always saying to drink more water. It wasn’t specifically mentioned in the article, but I believe this may also be a major contributing factor to the gastritis that I currently have. I’m a 20 year old male and range from being very inactive (sitting at computer all day) to very active, riding upwards of 25 miles on my bike.

  51. Nat says:

    I used to believe this until I passed out from dehydration during a routine low impact exercise. (I am in good shape, weigh 118 lbs, 28 years old.)

    I was never thirsty. I could seriously go without drinking 2 cups of water a day. I eat pretty well, too.

    I just hate to say it, but, (like many of you agree), this advice is not for everyone. I ended up in the hospital and the Dr. told me that it was because I was severely de-hyrdated.

    If many of you exercise daily, are on diuretics, or any other form of medication that recommends drinking plenty of water, reconsider this message.


    • ButterBeliever says:

      Did a medical professional tell you that’s what you passed out from?

      I would bet money that it was from not eating enough. Almost all adult women do not eat enough, from what I’ve seen.

      • Gibbs says:

        Bet money that the overwhelming majority of doctors would tell you that most Americans are dehydrated, yet you claim we should drink less water?

        • ButterBeliever says:

          I claim that you should drink according to what your body signals you to drink.

          Kind of like how you should eat when you are hungry. I bet your doc would agree with me on that one.

          • Scientist says:

            What evidence are you presenting to back up your claim that drinking to thirst is optimal? It has been well established since the 1960s that humans typically under drink when driven by thirst alone (usually only replacing about 2/3 of fluids lost). Additionally, if there are added stressors (eg. Exercise, environmental stress) the phenomenon can be further exacerbated.
            If you’re going to propose a reason why we should drink only to thirst, at least have some credible evidence to back this up. The fact that you seem to have ignored a significant body of scientific literature that would suggest otherwise is mind blowing.

    • Molly says:

      This happened to me recently as well, and I had numbness in my face and hands as well as loss of motor control. The verdict was acute hypoglycemic reaction due to not eating enough and taking a too-hot shower too soon after my 3mi run.

      Obviously the reasons for passing out after exercise can run the gamut, and do.

      I think the most important thing to take away from this article is “listen to your body”. I think when she says that she means REALLY REALLY listen. If someone needs more water than “less than 8 glasses” then by all means, they need that and should be drinking it. If they drink so much their stomach feels like it’s going to pop and they feel sick to their stomachs, perhaps they should cut back, or space it out.

      Then again, I don’t read this stuff like a biblical mandate.

  52. Nat says:

    OH! And not to forget mentioning ones’ sodium intake!

    Thanks, again!


  53. Shawn says:

    Just found the site while looking up grapeseed oil…I like it (the site)

    Anyway, did you mean to say potassium instead of phosphorus ?


  54. Shawn says:

    Did you mean potassium instead of phosphorus? Thanks…

  55. First time here but I just have to say, “come ON people. Use the brain God gave you! This article is pretty much stating to use common sense! IF your body requires 64+ ounces a day, by ALL means do NOT cut back. IF not, use your head! In the ’80’s when aerobics was a big deal, my Mom & I were going 3+ times a week as well as trying to eat right & get in our, “recommended” amounts of H2O. Well, try as she may, my Mom could NOT get rid of her belly. After a GREAT convo w/ the aerobics instructor, Mom found out for her tiny frame, 5’4 & barely 105 on a good day, she was over-hydrating!!! Once she cut back, BAM!, she was well on her way to a flatter belly! 8,8 is NOT for everyone! I agree w/, “Listen to your body”. And IF you HAVE any common sense, of course this article was NOT intended for special circumstances; prego, children, elderly, etc!!! I have thoroughly enjoyed ALL the comments & conversation this article has sparked & yes, I have laughed at some of the ‘ignorant’ statements as well. IF the author has, MD, Phd or ANY professional letters after the name then I could see ‘calling her out” on some of the statements. Otherwise if you don’t agree then by all means DON’T follow but you certainly do NOT need to be an ASS about it! Thanks for the article, the humor, the conversations, etc! I look forward to much more in the future!!!

  56. […] I drink well over a gallon of water a day. When I was training for my show and I reduced my salt intake, I cramped all the time – even though I supplemented with potassium. When I cut sugar & chugged water, I had crazy energy crashes. After hurricane Sandy, I had no electric for a week and a half. I drank only 1 glass of water/day during that time, and my usually freezing hands & feet were warm every day (and it was 50 degrees in the house). Since then, I’ve been trying to find a scientific article that proves drinking a lot of water lowers your body temperature. This is not it, but she makes an interesting case. […]

  57. Kumar says:

    Awesome article and facts are disclosed. Never found anywhere before. I feel people are loosing the conscious over the general health advices.

    I have seen my grandfather (he is healthy and working @ 87 yrs now) for 30 years closely, And he wont drink water between meals. Only times he drink water is during his breakfast, lunch and dinner and that too in limited quantity 250-300ml at a time. I dont’ find any reason drinking that much (8/8) of water with out realizing your body needs. Why THURST exists ?

    I observed my self that, drinking lot of water (8/8) brings acidity. What the hell. For very long I did not realized this and a senior doctor told me to avoid consuming that much and good now.

  58. Excellent post! Only you know your body and it’s important to diversify your nutrition too. I love my green smoothies too which often is where I get a lot of my daily hydration. Also, mix it up some. Coconut water is good too :)

    Always love your content! Bookmarked for future reading.


  59. jasmine says:

    Thanks for this article. I’m a person since I was a child loved water (it was and still is my favorite drink) and drank lots of it. I also suffered and still do from constipation. One would think as much as I drank I wouldn’t have that issue. It just dawned on me today like is it really necessary to drink so much? Therefor I decided to google it and came across this pleasant site to confirm what deep down what I already knew. Same thing with this pyramid food guideline. I mean really people should we listen to the government who’s intention is to brainwash us to make us think the blue sky is red or listen to your body. One can not put 1 guideline on the billions of people that exist. There are so many things to be considered other than the big easy one ( Which is everyones body function is different) theres, allergies, sickness etc. Basically, we human beings need to come out of the fog, we have been mind controlled and conditioned to think certain ways other than for ourselves. Someone posted way above how we always eat and are hungry. Yes human beings eat when we are bored,depressed, happy you name it, all for wrong reasons. And at times we think our bodies are hungry. This is article is not about what we do but what we should do which is listen to your body. Eat when hungry not when bored or etc, drink when thirsty not drink because of a guideline that wants you to drink fluoridated water that has so much crap in it to dumb you down even more. This is basically common sense and I thank you for bringing me out of the trance :)

  60. Salvatore says:

    I’m in my 12th year of drinking “too much water” – 4 to 6 quarts a day. And I feel fantastic. I also supplement with key minerals. Your conclusion look paid for, and not based on any research.
    Read the Amazon book “Running on Water – Walking on Air” It busts many myths regarding hydration as it relates to other body functions. You propose that many of those myths be followed.
    Like you, the medical community warns against “drinking too much water”. Look how many patients they create… and they have the big diseases related to chronic dehydration. Doctor’s extremely poor advice creates new weakening patients every day. Note that any diet should have sufficient minerals in variety and in quantity (many in grams not milligrams). Water intake and mineral intake go hand in hand, and the best water for the body has had key minerals intentionally dissolved in it so the body gets the best of all worlds.

  61. laura says:

    This was great! I’m pregnant and read drink 10 glasses of water.so I went and got water. I took a long drink and still had over half a glass and didn’t want more. I then thought this is crazy,is it even possible to drink that much water? I’d be drinking all day.can a bladder even hold much? So I picked up my phone pushed the button and googled away! This is what I got.If you feel thirty then you’re already dehydrated, so you should drink water all day would be like saying if you feel hungry then you’re already starving so you should eat all day. I would never eat all day if someone said I should, and when I’m full I don’t force myself to finish my plate.so why should I force myself to finish the over half full glass of water? And for the win! I shouldn’t. Thank you I will continue with my normal intake I don’t need twice as much

  62. laura says:

    My daughters pediatrician said the best thing for dry skin is water.is water that is obsorbed by skin considered a water intake?

  63. heather says:

    I definitely drink too much water. Probably at least a gallon a day and sometimes more. I have to pee so much! But, I am thirsty for that much water. Some days are worse than others and I just feel thirsty all day long. Any suggestions?

  64. sam says:

    Hi ,in response to heather, go to the doc if u r realllly thirsty all day long thats a sign of diabetes….but in response to the post, no, ppl dont count the water in their food or other drinks & its silly that ppl say it has to b 100% water to count aswater.thats just dumb. A sign of really not having enough water or liquid or whatever is if your body is retaining water, so that happened to me & i began drinking a gallon per day, consequently stopped being bloated and felt great, but ppl shouldnt force themselves to drink water,even tho i dont think a majority of ppl are in danger of doing so anyway.

  65. Jeff says:

    People always go from one extreme to the other. A person eats nothing but fatty and carb heavy foods so they jump on the no carbs or fat band wagon. Ridiculous!

    Most Americans are dehydrated! Telling them to drink less is idiotic. If you have problems with electrolytes or going to the bathroom excessively then there are other solutions to compensate for this, not drinking less water!

    Eat more fruits with electrolytes. Get enough magnesium, sodium, and potassium.

    A good trick is to get a 32 ounce bottle of water, fill 24 oz of water, 2 oz of lemon juice, 8 oz of orange juice, a teaspoon of honey, and a splash of salt. Wala, problem solved.

  66. SQ says:

    This article of yours showed up in the first page of a google search I did about how much water I should be drinking.

    First, a compliment! Well written and seemingly informative. You have a very easy-to-read style and I’ve been to your blog before, on other unrelated searches, and have enjoyed your other posts.

    Second, a constructive criticism: If you’re going to be stating ‘facts’ concerning people’s health and livelihood, it would be extremely helpful if you included sources. You don’t cite any sources, and as far as I know, you’ve made everything up. I’m not saying i don’t believe you–I need to do more research. I’m just letting you know that, while I appreciate your thoughts on the matter, I can’t take this seriously–at all–since there’s literally no reference to any scientific studies. I’m not saying you haven’t done your research, I’m just saying you haven’t let your readers know you have. Pretty much all of your bolded text could include links to the relevant sources. Since you’re a ‘food researcher’, I assume you’ve done your homework. Let readers know, by including the sources of the info.

    Thanks for giving me something to think about!

  67. katrina says:

    I think your right! Eat when your hungry, drink when your thirsty. You can’t think that eating “Mc-whatever” is actually going to nourish your body though. You have to feed your body REAL foods, not that processed crap.

  68. anand says:

    I was going through how to calculate how much of water to drink everyday for a project., and this popped up!

    First of all – This is a pretty good article. But important point is how much it fits to the current situation, environment, culture and society. I see 1000 of health related articles just because we are in the world of stress., people don’t have time to listen to self, everybody is working working working hours together with plans… working for money, power, position, prestige, satisfaction., but i believe now we are started to think about body, mind and soul – started to think about how to listen. But before we get to that practice, we need to stabilize and come out of the current culture., may be 8/8 works now and works for this culture and society., but it is always better and permanent is listening to self and take action – which is NATURE.

    We are not too far to come to this – but need to wait couple of generations to it!


  69. Amber says:

    This is the dumbest thing I have ever heard!I guess I disrespect my body drinking a gallon jug everyday LOL. My electrolyte balance is fine, as well as my digestion. My blood sugar and metabolism are better than ever too. This article has so many incorrect statements…

  70. Rechi Todd says:

    Lot of thanks for share your experience. I’m waiting for show your next share.

  71. Lilly says:

    I have been to the doctor and I am not pre-diabetic, but I will say if I get hot and start to feel dehydrated, yes I replenish with water. But if it’s the middle of the day and I need a drink and I just drink water, I only become more and more thirsty. I had 3 bottle of water in the past 3 hours and only felt more thirsty, but when I went and got a glass of milk, it stopped. Weird right?

  72. Ashlea says:

    I have all these signs yet I am also about 8 weeks pregnant. But I can’t get enough water, yet it seems like I am way more tired and stuff now than I was last time I was pregnant. I am also a hypoglycemic. I have been having more problems with my sugar lately but just chalked that up to being pregnant. Do you know how much water would be overkill if you’re pregnant? I usually don’t drink plain water at all, I am a decaf. tea person, but now I am drinking just plain water, about 4 quarts a day. Could the overhydration be going on with me? If I went and told the doc, he’d prob. say you’re fine. But seriously, my body is way bogged down right now and I didn’t feel like this last time. I am not vomiting or anything so surely i’m not dehydrated. I am peeing a lot, but I honestly thank that if I wasn’t drinking a bunch of water I wouldn’t be. Any sugg.?

    • dora says:

      youre fine… you dont feel the same with the first timr. you pee often because you bladder is being push because of that bulge of pregnancy

  73. JULIE says:

    I THINK DRINKING 8 glasses of water is a myth, but i was having a few pimples and it stopped when i started drinking 8 glasses of water everyday and my skin looks better ……..so maybe water therapy works plus less fine lines now……..maybe my skin is moisturised from inside……

    • ButterBeliever says:

      Water does not moisturize skin. Fat does.

      • dora says:

        why does your skin wrinklef when youre dehydrated? dehydrated with fats? lol yes fats help to keep the skin from sagging but water fills it up.

        • ButterBeliever says:

          Yes, obviously there’s water in your skin, just like in the rest of your body. That’s not really what we’re talking about here.

          • Sarah says:

            Weird how the “moisturizer” sections at stores have oily lotions not bottles of water. Hmmmmm but no, it’s water that makes your skin soft! Lol

  74. […] I don’t believe in drinking 8 glasses of water a day. I think it’s ridiculous. I recently heard a wellness professional say that everyone should be drinking half their body weight of water in ounces every day whether it’s filtered water or not in addition to anything else they are drinking. That’s just dangerous, folks! Our bodies can’t handle that much chlorinated water daily! Buy a filter! If you are drinking herbal teas, water kefir, bone broth and kombucha you don’t need 8 glasses on top of all that. You will float away! All that water is flushing out your body, yes but you need to be nourishing your body too! You need the nutrients in those other drinks (which are made with water anyway) more than you need plain water. Here’s more info on that from Butter Believer. […]

  75. sabrina says:

    Honestly I only drink water when I’m thirsty but I think the drink 8 glasses of water each day is more of a remi der for people who really don’t. I could name five who forget to drink water period. 3 of which have gone to the hospital for dehydration. Don’t forget that water doesn’t really hit a ‘ pleasure center’ like juices, candy and other favorite foods. I believe that liking something also controls if you body wants it or not. So trusting you body is one thing, realizing when its a want not a need is another.

  76. Rachel says:

    I remember an experience I had a few years ago by forcing myself to drink 64 oz of water a day. Ugh! It was so terrible. It was okay at first, but eventually it started messing with my bowels. Lets just say that it was obvious that I was taking in too much water for digestion.
    I had to ignore everything and just drink water when I’m thirsty. That works a lot better for me. I don’t consider myself a ‘thirsty’ person either. There are days when I drink lots of water in a day, but then there are some days where I hardly am ever thirsty. I work out, and even on those days for ME “lots” of water is only about 1/3 of the ‘recommended’ amount.

  77. […] 2. 8 Reasons Not to Drink 8 Glasses of Water a Day […]

  78. Pablo says:

    If you drink only when your thirsty, being thirsty shows you that you’re already dehydrated. You also are not receiving sufficient amounts of water from food hence why people can’t just eat food. As well as not getting nutrients from other beverages. If you have a well enough balanced diet it shouldn’t matter since you get them from your foods as well. As for all the effects of over hydration. People just need too know what a healthy urine color looks like to determine whether they are properly hydrated. The amount depends on your activity level or how much your losing daily through urination and perspiration, possibly from heat exhaustion. I’m sure you have several great points in your book, but this is common sports knowledge.

  79. Jenny B says:

    I think it needs to be mentioned that so many people are eating diets that are unhealthy and therefore they are also hungrier and thirstier than normal. I personally went from hungry all day, drinking tons of water all day to much less hunger with fewer meals and minimum water consumption. Eating high carbs/sugar destroys your bodies normal processes.

    I loved this article and wish it was read by all of society.

  80. Scientist says:

    Interesting perspective, but as others have stated, there is little evidence to suggest what you are proposing in place of the 8 x 8 rule is any more beneficial. Firstly, let’s get something out in the open, there is little, if any, scientific evidence for the 8 x 8 oz rule (check out Valtin, 2012 for a review on the topic). Despite this, many health professionals push this guideline out. Secondly, you are correct in referring to the body and its impressive ability to regulate fluid homeostasis. It does this very, very well. So well in fact, that to suggest that by drinking more than 64 oz per day could result in hyponatremia is incredibly misguided. While hyponatremia is a very real and possible outcome, unless you are consuming a huge amount of water during a very short timespan, your body will regulate the overconsumption by, you guessed it, urinating! Yay for science!
    Lastly, there is absolutely a better way to individualize fluid intake guidelines, and thirst is not always the answer, particularly as our thirst mechanism declines as we age. Rather than providing an absolute value of required fluids for a day, using a set number of millilitres per kg of body weight (eg 35 ml/kg) is much more effective and actually quite effective at maintaining fluid balance (see Grandjean et al. 2000). Further, the amount of lean muscle mass will also effect fluid needs since muscle is more hydrated than fat, so someone with higher levels of fat will require more fluids than someone of the same weight who is leaner.
    Oh, also, it’s pretty well accepted now that caffeinated beverages DO NOT dehydrate you (as evidenced by a ton of studies, check out Armstrong et al., 2005 for a goodie). That line of thinking dates back to the late 1920s and early 1930s (though many still believe it today). Yes, if you withhold caffeine from someone for several days then give them a huge amount they will likely pee more, but for the average Joe having a cup of Joe (see what I did there?) it won’t have a negative impact on fluid balance. Also, the Institute of Medicine and others acknowledge that fluids in foods, as well as other beverages (colas, coffee, energy drinks, etc.) actually do provide a meaningful contribution to fluid balance.

    Bottom line: crunch a few numbers and then drink up! You will not get hyponatremia and die. Unless you’re an idiot.

  81. dora says:

    not all of us have a functioning thirst mechanism especially the elderly thats why there is the standard 8 plus the water we get from foods… depends also on body weight, activity and lifestyle, 8 is not even enough 8 is the least water intake for any person unless contraindicated.

  82. Lexie says:

    I don’t think the author of this article truly understands the science behind what he’s talking about. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with drinking more water. By the time we feel our throats getting dry, initiating the feeling of thirst, we are already starting to dehydrate.
    If you don’t like peeing alot, or your hands are becoming uncomfortably cold, then maybe you should drink less water. That’s up to you. But 8 8 ounces of water a day doesn’t hurt anyone. And drinking more water will do only positive things for your body. Our country is nationally dehydrated. Yea I understand there’s water in all the foods and beverages we eat, and don’t you think doctors and scientists realize this too? You think that just completely slipped their minds? The point of recommending more water isn’t to stop you from drinking your sodas, coffees, and energy drinks, it isn’t to make sure you miss out on other nutrient dense beverages, its to make sure you have more CLEAR liquid running through your system.
    Constipation and kidney stones are very commonplace for a country that suffers hardly any droughts or malnutrition. So why does it happen to every one? Why aren’t we producing more than a few bowel movements per week? Because we’re dehydrated. It is healthy and normal to move your bowels three times a day, an hour after each time you eat. But how many people do that? Not many. Not me.

    And it doesn’t throw off your electrolyte balance, it regulates it. You just think everyone’s the epitome of healthy and here comes the big bad glass of water to come mess everything up!
    And how would this author know what “overhydration” is if he doesn’t even know how much water each person should be drinking?? Does that logic make sense to anyone? If the recommended dose is 8 glasses per day then what led him to believe that this is overhydrating anyone? What’s his recommended dose? Oh yea, “drink when your’e thirsty. Done.” Sounds legit.

    • ButterBeliever says:

      Yikes. So much misinformation, I honestly don’t know where to start. And I won’t, because if you read through that whole post and can’t be convinced, I’m not going to keep trying!

      • Lisa Mac says:

        If you don’t think the author knows what they are talking about, take it from me…I know first hand! I was in ICU for three days, and in the hospital for a total of six from what turned out to be drinking too much water. My sodium and phosphorous levels were fatally low. It can and DOES happen. I, like others, believed that the more water..the better. WRONG! Your body depends on its electrolyte balance to function correctly. I have learned the hard way. Whether you believe it or not, I know from experience. Thank you for such an informative article. Hopefully it will enlighten some people to the possible dangers of over-hydrating. For those that do not believe it can be harmful or question the facts in this article, do your research! Bottom line, as with anything, too much of a good thing can be bad-and in this case, extremely dangerous.

      • Lisa Mack says:

        “And drinking more water will do only positive things for your body.” The disregard to proven research and to offer one’s uneducated opinion baffles me. I can tell you from experience that too much water CAN be dangerous. I know because I ended up in the hospital in intensive care with fatally low levels of sodium and phosphorous. After 6 days in the hospital and $20,000 in medical expenses, I have learned the hard way. Not only does my experience prove it, doctor’s research has proven it. Fortunately I had doctors who recognized and treat the problem, as well as, educate me on the subject. Thank you for writing this informative article. Hopefully it will keep someone from making the same mistake I did.

        • Scientist says:

          Lisa, sorry to hear of your misfortunes that landed you in the hospital! Not a very nice outcome at all. I mean no disrespect by this, but for the average person drinking fluid throughout the day, the likelihood of this occurring is very, very low. The body has an exceptional ability to regulate fluid balance. I’m not taking away the very real possibility of hyponatremia occurring, however, the body would almost always need to be overwhelmed with fluids (ie. lots of fluids in a short amount of time) for this to occur in free-living conditions. Without knowing the details of your circumstances (and I won’t speculate further) I would caution yourself and others (such as the author of this article) against suggesting the “doom and gloom” of consuming high levels of fluids.
          The truth is, we don’t know exactly how much we require, but we do know that it makes a lot more sense to prescribe a relative rather than absolute amount. It comes down to the classic question: do the positives of increased fluid intake outweigh the negatives? And the answer is an overwhelming yes. Now here’s the catch; increased does NOT necessarily mean greater than 64 oz (as I said, it’s all relative) but typically humans under-consume fluids when driven by thirst alone. It’s called involuntary (or voluntary depending on where you read) dehydration, and it is a well established phenomenon (Greenleaf, 1992).
          So what are the positives of increasing one’s fluid intake? Long term, the goal is prevention of conditions such as kidney stones, bladder cancer, colorectal cancer, and others – conditions that are linked to chronic dehydration. The author’s assumption that there is no scientific evidence to back this up is incredibly misguided. Yes, the data are from epidemiological studies which have their shortcomings, but given the choice today, what would you rather do: cut down on fluid intake for fear of hyponatremia? or increase fluid intake (not necessarily by a large amount) and decrease the risk of contracting one or more of the serious conditions associated with chronic dehydration?

          I digress, but here is my overall point. While some of what the author is saying may have some truth behind it, what she is proposing has no more scientific proof that what is out there in the published literature. In fact, there is considerably more out there opposing what she is suggesting. People should not be discouraged from drinking less fluids based on the argument she presents here.

          • Sarah says:

            People who assume that her purpose was to protect everyone from dying from hyponatremia are so missing the point. There’s a wide range of uncomfortable and very unnecessary symptoms experienced with chronic over-hydration other then death. She’s trying to point out how to feel better by not forcing yourself to do something that feels unnatural and does not improve your metabolic health. She’s not suggesting that everyone who drinks 64 oz of plain water per day is going to end up in the hospital

    • Sarah says:

      Constipation is not caused by dehydration. ( occasionally it will but frequency of bowel movement is controlled by the metabolic rate of the body). Kidney stones are also not caused by dehydration. Mineral imbalances and improper metabolism of minerals leads to kidney stones. If you are going to accuse the author of not understanding the science behind what she is talking about then perhaps you should get yourself a bit of a scientific education yourself.

      Could you explain how plain water regulates electrolytes? Do you understand cellular biology at all??

      It sounds like what you know about human physiology was learned from a colon hydro therapist .

  83. adwa says:

    Dont forget the sodium intake of the modern human, its often too much so we should also increase water intake to keep or kidneys healthy.

  84. Crystal says:

    I first want to say that I think you did a great job writing this article…

    Also, I’m not objecting our bashing your article in anyway but I do want to state that overhydration may not always be the case. I suffer from at least two urinary tract infections a year. I’m currently 12 weeks pregnant and have already had two since I’ve gotten pregnant. Back last May I ended up with a pretty bad kidney infection and was almost hospitalized. I do not drink enough water. I have since gotten a few apps on my phone to remind me to drink water. I’ve gone from no water only sodas or juice to at least 2 glasses a day with other beverages as well.

    I don’t want to complain I simply want to earn people that this may not always be your case. And I know people probably want to say I should pee after sex, wipe from front to back drink cranberry juice. I have tried all those things. I am still prone to utis.

    Like I said great article just KNOW your body before thinking you are taking in too much.

  85. Jen says:

    So what if you’re preggo?

    • ButterBeliever says:

      I think the same applies. I plan on always drinking according to what my body tells me, even if/when I’m pregnant. When it comes to milk supply, by drinking an excess of water, you wouldn’t be adding more of the raw materials needed to make the nutrients in the milk, you’d simply be diluting the milk.

  86. […] 8 Reasons NOT to drink 8 glasses of water a day. […]

  87. Didn’t drink much water while pregnant or nursing. I did eat well, including a lot of fruits/vegs. I nursed my son long-term and had no problems with milk supply. :)

  88. Kelly says:

    Your articles are always so easy to understand, even for non native speakers. So thank you for putting the effort in all this information!

    I too was always drinking water all day long. It started with my autoimmune disease and my dr told me that the medication would not work unless I drank liters of water a day.
    I have had extremely cold hands and feet for years now. Plus my health did not het any better.
    Now Ive been drinking while thirsty for about a week. Which is less than 8 for when I dont do a whole lot and more than 8 with the gym and long walks. And also introducing nutrient packed drinks instead of water at times. Finally I do not have to wear gloves and 3 pairs of socks and slippers indoors anymore and still freeze! Im also much more energetic and full after a meal. Also my mouth isnt so extremely dry anymore.

    I don’t think the backlash on this article is fair. If you read it properly it obviously says drink while you are thirsty, listen to your body. If it needs a lot of water that’s fine (and maybe you have some u derlying health issues if you do) but why keep drinking if your body isn’t asking for it?

  89. Jennifer says:

    What if you’re never thirsty? I have to make myself drink anything

  90. trine says:

    very interesting article… and i believe that you should listen to your body, but i also have to say that my body almost NEVER was thirsty, i think most of my live (i am 34 now) i drank 8glasses of water in a week. i spent days without drinking anything… i try to drink more now and now i am more often thirsty, so i think its not that easy, i think your body can forget the basics… i also learned that i am histamine intolerant and i loved all the stuff that hurts me, so the body can be wrong obviously. mayby we train our bodys to be wrong, i don’t know!

  91. […] drink 8 8oz glasses of water per day. Though I don’t really believe that, and after reading 8 Reasons NOT to Drink 8 Glasses of Water A Day (Butter Believer, April 3, 2013) I’m even more skeptical, I do need to drink more h2o. Some […]

  92. Mike says:

    Great article!! I’ve been trying to resolve headache, muscle cramp, brain fog. After reading this, I recognize that I drink a TON of water (trying to be healthy). I will certainly experiment with water qty to see how it goes. Thanks for a thought provoking discussion! Thanks! -Mike

  93. […] 8 reasons Not to Drink 8 Glasses a Day from Butter Believer […]

  94. Rick says:

    If you want to believe in this article, you will believe. I am 48, a runner since high school and have completed several marathons. I also do crossfit and live in Texas so I am accustomed to sweat and physical activity. For the last 15 years, I typically drank 60-75 ounces of water in the winter and up to 90 – 100+ ounces in summer. I also restricted salt intake because it is “bad” for you. About two years ago I began suffering from several symptoms, I have always had cold hands and feet but I can best describe the major symptoms as brain fog and feeling like my head was swelling, well, it literally was! It took me two years to realize that although I was in good physical condition, I was drinking way too much water and my electrolyte balance was way out of whack. I now only drink when thirsty. My current basal body temperature ranges from 97.2 – 97.4 so I know that I still have work to do. My point is that I feel 100% better since I began drinking only when thirsty. Each of our bodies is a current work in progress and can take a lot of abuse before it finally says enough! We may get away with doing things that harm it like drinking too much water while creating an electrolyte imbalance but at some point it will catch up to you. Listen to your body, it speaks to you every day…

  95. Ross Wixson says:

    Mr. ButterBeliever,
    I’ve really enjoyed you’re whole article. I didn’t realize someone else out there actually saw the same flaw in medical community logic as I did, so in reading your article I find myself feeling vindicated. I just wanted to point out that in section 4 “You’re throwing off your electrolyte balance” you mention “outside your cells—in your extracellular (sometimes called intersitial) fluid, is where you want the scale to tip toward sodium”, it just looks like you missed the first ‘t’ in interstitial. I’m a word fiend, so I thought I’d pass on my compulsive need for accurate spelling. Again, I loved the article.

  96. Jen says:

    This makes sense. I generally drink about 8 glasses of water a day and I do find myself getting thirsty more often. I think I will try and cut down. My only issue is that I workout in the morning which makes me extremely thirsty, so I find myself drinking about 2 cups of water right away. I think I will try drinking other beverages such as milk or fruit smoothies.

    • ButterBeliever says:

      You could even try a homemade gatorade-type drink. Add some honey and lemon juice plus a little salt to your water, and that would be a big improvement from plain water. Milk or smoothies is a great idea, too.

  97. monique says:

    i drink 8 glasses a day. probably more. you know what? my pee is clear. i’ve gotten quite tired of being constantly dehydrated to the point of dizziness(quite often because i drink when im thirsty or dont realize im thirsty and up not drinking for half the day because i dont notice the feeling) so im pretty happy sipping and drinking throughout the day. also having my waterbottle around keeps me full of water so i dont see the appeal in sodas or other unhealthy options.

  98. Rachel says:

    Well this article sure has raised some questions in me!
    I am definatly one of those people who likes to get the whole picture of things because it is so easy to believe things that arent true! I love your blog for that reason- it gives another perspective!
    So here is my question.
    I drink WAY more than 8 glasses a day- i drink in fact almost a gallon a day. I pee 4-6 times like you reccomend, dont have any overhydration symptoms, but dont drink water for the thirst-quenching factor, but to flush out toxins. I feel that water is absolutely neccecary to aid digestion of fibers and proteins without making you constipated, as fiber absorbs a lot of water. So.. with that in mind- what do you think? Too much water? I am not getting the symptoms but drink a ton of water..

  99. […] She says: I find it interesting that in spite of huge, gaping variations in the span of health and nutrition recommendations—such as the polar opposite advice given by mainstream medicine (saturated fat will kill you, but polyunsaturated fats are “heart-healthy” etc.) to all the varying sects of alternative medicine and nutrition (eat all the saturated fat you possibly can, but polyunsaturated fats will kill you, etc.), one constant has remained throughout ALL angles of health and nutrition advice, even in our real-food realm: “Drink more water!” Read the whole article here […]

  100. Melita says:


    I really like the bit about how you say its ridiculous to say “by the time you’re thirsty you’re already dehydrated”.

    I much PREFER to drink when I’m thirsty as it’s much more enjoyable to me.

    A lot of interesting comments on here too.

    Keep it up!


  101. Elizabeth says:

    While there are some sound observations here, I do not quite believe in this article. Just because we drink 64 ounces of water does NOT mean we don’t drink anything else. Also,like this article pointed out, we can get the nutrients from food( I’m substituting nutrients for water). The people who wrote this article are thinking that 64 ounces a day stops thirst. While it is true it diminishes thirst, you can still be parched, and can still have some electrolyte-rich sports drinks. This article also points out that drinking too MUCH water inhibits your body’s ways of doing things. It does not directly say drinking 64 ounces of water will do that. Believe what you want to believe, but I don’t think this article has enough evidence to support it.

  102. amy bown says:

    I found this article very refreshing. To drink 64 ounces a day, you’d have to drink a full glass of water every two hours during waking hours. Who does that, really? I am on lithium–which is a salt and can be a dangerously dehydrating medication, so I have to be careful to get enough water. But I sip water throughout the day. No way do I gulp down a full 64 ounces, unless you count tea, coffee, lemonade, and ice-tea as water, which they are. I’m a person who actually needs water due to my medication, and I still don’t feel I need to drink 8 glasses of water a day. Other people may feel that–and that’s fine. It IS all based on what your own body needs. And the point about electrolytes is well taken: when people are dehydrated during marathons, they’re give an electrolyte-based drink, like Gatorade, not water.

    • ButterBeliever says:

      Thanks so much for sharing your (very reasonable and logical) thoughts. I found your comment refreshing among the 4 or 5 others I had to moderate today from seriously delusional, water-logged trolls. :)

  103. Eteno says:

    Of course drinking 8-10 glasses a day is to much ? where in hell is peeing every 30min/hour healthy ?

  104. Richard says:

    Excellent website on drinking too much water.

    I just stopped drinking 8 8 ounce glasses. Are there any withdrawal symptoms? If so, how long will they last?

    Thanks for your newsletter

  105. Michelle says:

    I totally agree with this! I believe that I used to overhydrate and it is one of the many reasons that my metabolism got screwed up. So long as my pee is a light yellow and not too clear and not too dark I feel good about my hydration level. The only time I may really pack in the water is leading up to and after Bikram yoga. You just sweat so much that you need to get ahead of the game a little. However drinking some coconut water right after usually helps balance out the electrolytes so I don’t have to completely drown myself 😀

  106. emilie says:

    This is wrong. If you drink when you’re thirsty, you might get 4 cups of water a day. When you’re Feeling thirsty, your body is ALREADY dehydrated. drink a good 8-10 glasses a day!

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