NHS guidelines recommend that we drink eight glasses of water a day to combat dehydration, in recent years this has become standard practise and it is not unusual to see people from all walks of life carrying a water bottle as they go on with their everyday business.
The European Food Standards Authority claimed last week that, after lengthy investigation, there is no evidence to support the benefits of water against dehydration. Measures are in place to prevent bottled water manufacturers from making any claims on their packaging that link drinking water to preventing dehydration, with up to a two year prison sentence for failure to comply.
Unsurprisingly there has been uproar from members of the public and government officials alike, with criticisms of stupidity and lack of common sense. The main argument being that our bodies are made up of 60% water and that dehydration is defined as ‘a shortage of water to the body’, so the natural conclusion being that if your body is short of water, drink more water to replenish it.
In response to the backlash the EFSA have now claimed that water will keep you cool and contributes to regulating your temperature and to the maintenance of your physical and cognitive functions. Clarifying the original statement, the EFSA have elaborated by saying while they recognise the benefits water can have on the body, their concerns were rooted in the suggestion that drinking water may reduce the risk of disease, and they intend to stand by the claim that there is not enough evidence to suggest that water meets the EFSA standards in regards to the prevention of dehydration.