They recommended lowered levels of sodium intake, a change that may encourage the food industry to reformulate over salted products.
So, are you drinking enough? Getting the right amount of minerals in water?
We've waded through the data and talked to the experts to answer your questions about how these guidelines can help you stay healthy. Should I still drink six to eight glasses of water a day? When 10M panel members looked at studies of serum osmolality, a measure of fluid deficit or overload, they concluded that most people stay sufficiently hydrated simply by following their customary eating and drinking routines.
The origin of the eight-glasses a- day rule is most likely government guidelines from the 1940s that recommended "1 milliliter of water for each calorie of food," or roughly 64 to 80 ounces per day. However, "water" referred to the total fluid intake from all beverages and food. The new guidelines reflect a trend toward increased fluid consumption in the American diet but don't provide a one-size-fits-all recommendation for fluid intake. As a rough measure, the panel set the midpoint of the range of u.s. water consumption as the level that's assumed adequate for most people. For men, that', about 151/2 eight-ounce cups of total water (about 13 cups from water and other beverages); for women, 11 ½ cup, (about 9 cups from fluids).
You need to pay special attention to your fluid intake when you're active, the temperature exceeds 80 degree F, the humidity is low, or you're at elevations above 5,000 feet. Under these conditions more water is lost through breathing and perspiration. Most people will find themselves extra thirsty during and after such stresses, sooner the course of the day, following your natural inclination should still allow you to take care of your water needs.
Do I have to drink plain water?
No. The 10M panel concluded that all fluids-including soft drinks, caffeinated beverages, and alcoholic drinks-factor into your daily water totals. Caffeine earned its reputation as a diuretic from small, short-term s tudies of people who consumed higher doses than normal or who weren't used to drinking it. When researchers studied caffeine in men who were used to drinking it, they found no diuretic effect. Evidence on alcohol is scant but suggests that one or two drinks have no overall diuretic effect.
Plain tap water has its advantages: It's cheap, thirst quenching, and calorie free. If you dislike the taste of tap water, try bottled water. One study found that flavored waters help some people drink more and stay better hydrated.
Other choices include iced tea and mixes of juice and water.