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"You should aim for 8 glasses." I've had it on my to-do-lists, my monthly goals, I've had phone apps and reminders and lists of data on how much water I was drinking every day. Why? Well to improve my skin of course, to make me healthier. "Nothing is more essential to good skincare than drinking enough water." "There is nothing you can do to the outside of your skin if you don't feed it from the inside first, and enough water is the first step towards that." "Always carry a water bottle with you and make sure to refill it continuously."

Sounds right. Makes sense really. If you're well hydrated then so is your skin, the younger, healthier and more glowy it will look and the more you will combat transepidermal water loss. Right? Wrong.

Apparently, this very wide-spread piece of common knowledge just doesn't stand up to scrutiny and tests.

A study was done to test the effect of dietary water intake on skin hydration and biomechanics. 49 healthy women volunteers were divided into two groups that consumed either less than 3.2litres of water a day for 30 days, and over 5.2litres of water a day.

The study measured the epidermal hydration and the transepidermal water loss in each participant at T0, on day 15 (T1) and on day 30 (T2).

The results showed no significant changes in most of the the measures used to study skin condition, and very little differences between only some of these measures.

But, even if what we take away from this study is that increased water intake does positively impact skin physiology, what should be noted is the very large amounts of water used in the study. The second group drank OVER 5L of water a day, that being a lot more than the recommended 8 glasses, actually closer to 34 glasses of water a day.

Should the recommended amount of water be 34 glasses a day?

What to take from this? Remaining properly hydrated is very important for all biological functions, and water is probably the single best fluid to consume. It is important to remember that a large proportion of water in our body actually comes from the food we eat, and not only the water we drink. Although it is better to stick to water when making a choice of with what to quench your thirst or accompany your meal, it may be best to just listen to your body and its needs to be hydrated, and there may actually not be a certain number of glasses or litres that is the best for anyone to drink.


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