The age old conundrum- how much water do you actually need to drink? / SASCHA SCHUERMANN/AFP/Getty Images

Are the much lauded benefits of drinking water simply too good to be true?

Drinking eight glasses of water a day is one of the most commonly shared health tips.

It’s cited as making you look younger, feel fresher and live healthier. There’s just one problem - it’s not true.

One health researcher is so fed up with the myth being cited as fact that he has written an article begging people to stop repeating the advice.

In an article for The New York Times, Aaron E. Carroll, Professor of Pediatrics and Assistant Dean for Research Mentoring at Indiana University School of Medicine, writes: “If there is one health myth that will not die, it is this: You should drink eight glasses of water a day. It’s just not true. There is no science behind it."

He says the original advice was humans need the equivalent of eight glasses of water a day. However, scientists included the amount of fluid ingested through other food and vegetables, and never intended for people to drink eight glasses of water on top of their daily food and drink.

“Many people believe that the source of this myth was a 1945 Food and Nutrition Board recommendation that said people need about 2.5 litres of water a day. But they ignored the sentence closely behind. It read ‘Most of this quantity is contained in prepared foods.’ “

Mr Carroll added that not only do humans not need to eight glasses, but there is little evidence drinking extra water has any health benefits at all. He writes: “Contrary to many stories you may hear, there’s no real scientific proof that, for otherwise healthy people, drinking extra water as any health benefits.”

It seems many of the much lauded benefits of drinking water might just have been too good to be true afterall.