Is two litres of water a day too much?

While drinking eight glasses of water a day will do you no harm...

While drinking eight glasses of water a day will do you no harm, it’s not necessary to maintain good health, so says a Melbourne academic.

Australian health and dietary authorities recommended a daily fluid intake of two litres, or eight glasses, but this doesn’t need to be in the form of water. La Trobe University lecturer, Spero Tsindos, says drinking eight glasses of water a day is unnecessary and fluid intake can be derived from fruit, vegetables, juices, tea and coffee.

There is no scientific evidence to support the actual amount of water required to remain healthy. The amounts that are now considered a recommendation stem from guidelines published by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences in the US in 1945.

Drinking two litres of water each day may not do you any harm, but it may not do you any good either. If you drink most of your water in one go, then this will merely dilute your urine and may still lead to your body needing further hydration.

In his paper published in the June issue of The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, Tsindos concludes that water and a well-balanced diet does more good than water alone.

More information
To find out more about the two litres of water myth, read Spero Tsindos’s paper What drove us to drink 2 litres of water a day?


    To make a comment, please register or login
    8th Jun 2012
    As a Kinesiologist I have to disagree with Spiro's findings. This is not unusual. Most academic's theories will eventually be proven wrong. We test our clients for hydration and invariably most people come up as dehydrated. The main reason seems to be allergic response to chlorine and/or fluoride, but also not drinking enough water.
    Nowadays people walk around town with 600 mil bottles of water from which they take an occasional sip. But it is drinking water that is required, not just sipping.
    For most people the little bottle of water is a fashion symbol, like the back to front cap and the sunnies perched on the top of the head
    Chlorine and Fluoride are dangerous chemicals that do not belong in the system and the brain does not recognise water containing these chemicals as beneficial and instigates an allergic response. This means the tainted water passes straight through the system without any benefit.
    My answer would be for people to drink more water, and drink clean water!
    8th Jun 2012
    From what I have read dehydration can be the cause of many health problems. May I suggest readers invest in a quality water filtering system preferable one that alkalines the water. In my research I was finally able to track one filtering system which takes out flouride and chlorine as well as making the water alkaline. The benefits are numerous. Look up Alkaway and Alkastream,the website has all the information and you can buy one cheaper on ebay. I just got mine for $152 bidding(normally $399) and the ph test shows you how acid the tap water is then you test after the filtering the difference is amazing. It is worth the investment and will save you buying 'dead' bottled water.A must for anyone interested in optimum health. Read the articles on the websites which include scientific research. Email the company for further questions they are very approachable and helpful.Happy health to all.

    8th Jun 2012
    Elle MacPherson started the trend when she mis-read an article about drinking water, where the outcome of a study about drinking water came to the conclusion that you should drink water when you are thirsty (as we had always done!); there was never any mention of '2 litres a day' and the article, in fact, stated that if you drink too much water you are putting your kidneys to excess work.
    9th Jun 2012
    By the time you feel thirsty you are well and truly dehydrated. When you get up in the morning to a Kellogg's breakfast (with milk, to which most people are allergic to) with 2 cups of coffee your system is dehydrated and stressed.
    When you get to work and have another cup of coffee you are a candidate for a heart attack.
    All this without feeling thirsty. As a matter of fact, you are way past feeling thirsty and the system has given up.
    9th Jun 2012
    As might be expected this subject has given rise to the inevitable diatribes from alternative medicine cranks like "Kino". Water is water, molecules of which are absorbed into the body through the gut from whatever food or drink is swallowed. To say that water, treated with chlorine and/or fluoride will not be "recognised by the brain" and rejected, is utter rubbish and typical of the pseudo-medecine peddled by quacks like Kinesiologists. This is the sort of nonsense that endangers public health by giving rise to the anti- vaccination lobby and threatens the lives of our children now and in the future.
    9th Jun 2012
    In reply to J.smith - So are you calling the Queen a 'crank'? She is well known to be a supporter of alternative medicine and carries no less than 60 vials of homeopathic medicine with her when she travels. Alternative medicine is older than so called modern medicine which is better left for surgery not preventive medicine. That,s what we are talking about here preventing problems by making sure you have enough healthy clean water, you are bringing other issues into play here mentioning that anti-vaccination lobby's don't care about children it is actually the opposite- you do your research unbiased and the evidence is there it is just hidden from pharmaceutical companies that don't want their billion dollar industries threatened. Sickness in the world is big business, we need to take control of our own health the best we can as it is now known that we in Australia are heading in the same direction as USA where the average person will not be able to afford proper health care.
    9th Jun 2012
    Hi Smithij.

    You are obviously one of the 'a pill for every ill' fraternity. Feel free to stick to that and do not feel threatened. I wish you no harm.
    Personally I feel that modern medicine is out of whack in their belief that hiding symptoms behind a veil of drugs is science! I feel that not going to the source of a health problem is unscientific, And that a pill for every ill is unscientific.
    I am a sports therapist, using applied and clinical Kinesiology in my approach to finding the cause of health problems.
    As I said, feel free to believe in your health modality, I stick to mine.
    9th Jun 2012
    Get over it - drink when you're thirsty and if it has to be water make it tap
    11th Nov 2016
    Don't want chlorine taste in tap water then simply boil it and the chlorine dissipates.

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