Our expert says:
Actually, not stupid question at all. In fact, it's the best question to be asked, because society never thinks to ask! The question you have to ask yourself, to put a spin on it, is why we humans, being the smartest animals by far, have to be told how much to drink? Doesn't that seem a little odd? Perhaps you have pets, you never have to tell them how much to drink, and animals in the wild don't see advertising and signs telling them they had better drink a certain amount each day! And they are fine! So why is it that humans need to be instructed to drink, as though we are somehow different from other animals?
This is tongue in cheek of course, but if you think about it, no one has ever died or become unhealthy because they don't drink enough. What sometimes happens is that there is a drought and then an animal or a person might be really desperate to drink but they can't, and this is definitely a bad thing. But provided we drink when we are thirsty, we will never have a problem. So the answer to your question, is that we don't HAVE to drink 8 glasses of water a day. All we have to do is drink when we are thirsty. And why is this? Because the body is mostly made up of water. The blood, for example, is just water with cells and electrolytes and proteins in it, and so if you become dehydrated as a result of not drinking enough, then it affects how your cells operate - they shrink and die (think of a plant that has not been watered and starts to wilt). So that's the main reason why water is so important, but if you just drink when you are thirsty, then you will be fine. This may be 12 glasses a day, it may be 2, it doesn't matter.
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