Is it just me or does it feel awkward to drink eight 8oz glasses of water every day?

Yeah, {aqua}rd.

Maybe it's just me.  I know plenty of people who drink a ton of water every day...and enjoy it.

I'm definitely not one of those people. 

I feel like I'm drowning on the inside when I drink that much water.

Plus, I'm not going to lie, water tastes bland and I get tired of it quickly.

So that's why I decided to do a little digging and get to the bottom of this daily water requirement as my next step in this month of wholesome choices.

After reading several articles online, both actual scientific research and articles citing scientific research, here are the conclusions I came to:
  • No one really knows where the 8x8 rule originated.  {8x8 rule: drink eight eight-ounce glasses of water per day}
  • There is no scientific evidence to back the 8x8 rule.
  • Being thirsty does not mean you are already dehydrated.  It just means your body is telling you it is time to drink so that you do not reach dehydration.
  • If you feel thirsty, then drink. If you don't feel thirsty, then don't drink unless you just want to.
  • Not all of your daily fluid intake needs to come from water.  Much of our fluid intake comes from the foods we eat as well as other drinks such as coffee, juices, teas, and sodas.  So, contrary to popular belief, caffeinated drinks should count toward the daily fluid intake in the vast majority of people.
  • The only drinks that produce a net loss of fluids are those containing alcohol. 

The above information applies to the general population of healthy adults in America.  However, your fluid intake should be increased {regardless of a feeling of thirst} in certain instances:
  • During exercise
  • Extreme environments {such as hot or humid weather, higher altitudes, and heated indoor air during winter months}
  • Illnesses such as fever, vomiting, and diarrhea. 
  • Certain health conditions {speak with a physician} such as bladder infections or urinary tract infections.  On the contrary, certain health conditions require you to limit your fluid intake due to water retention. Be sure to speak to your physician if you have any concerning health conditions. 
  • Pregnancy or breast-feeding

While you may certainly still find articles and physicians advocating the 8x8 rule, I simply want you to be aware that there is no hard evidence supporting this rule that seemed to appear out of thin air.  Pay attention to your body and what it is telling you.  Drink when you are thirsty.  In my opinion, that rule is even more simple than the 8x8 rule!  {It certainly leaves me feeling a lot less guilty.

I'm thankful to McDonald's for this wholesome choices challenge. It has motivated me to get to the bottom of some of my most basic health-related questions.  It has helped me to sift through what is fact and what is fiction.  

McDonald's is committed to giving us more delicious choices to feel good about in the months and years to come.  Regardless of your dietary needs, you'll find nutrient-minded choices at McDonald's. 

You can follow McDonald’s Atlanta on Twitter @McDonaldsATL and check out their website for real-time promos, meal ideas and how to make the most of your McDonald’s experience:

McDonald’s partnered with bloggers such as me to participate in its “Wholesome Choices”
 Blogger Program.  As part of that program, I received compensation.  They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about the products used, and believe that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. McDonald’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

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