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With the popularity of modern water bottles and the simple fact that bottled water is so readily available, many Americans can only do a tad more than it does in the hydration department.

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“Our kidneys are really good at holding salts and water,” says Dr Kelly Anne Hyndman, a kidney function researcher at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “For most people, they drink simply because they psychologically think they need to drink when in fact you need to make up for what you’ve lost during the day through sweat, breathing, and your urine. All you need to do is drink.”

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Drinking more water does not mean that you will be more healthy.

“The idea is that it flushes out toxins in your body and things like that,” Hyndman says. “There’s probably some truth to this, but I think people are taking it to the extreme.”

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So how much water should you drink? We’ve all been taught that the goal is to aim for eight 8-ounce cups of water per day, but many believe that’s a blanket approach. According to Hyndman, there is no set number per capita, but factors to be taken into account.

“It depends on a lot of factors — what you’re eating, your activity level, what kind of climate you live in. Okay. If you’re in a dry, arid climate, you’ll have to change more water because you have to Sweating more,” Hyndman said.

She says it’s a good rule to just drink when you’re thirsty.