The Department of Health's (DoH's) recommendation that adults should drink between six and eight glasses of water each day has come under fire from one expert, who claimed the advice has already been "thoroughly debunked".
According to the Daily Telegraph, Glasgow GP Dr Margaret McCartney asserted in a recent opinion piece for the British Medical Journal that a number of studies had indicated no clear benefit from drinking large amounts of water.
She cited a 2002 study from Dartmouth Medical School's Professor Heinz Valtin in the American Journal of Physiology, which stated that there was "no scientific evidence" to support the DoH's guidelines.
The NHS Choices website specifically calls on adults to drink plenty of water "to avoid dehydration", but Dr McCartney insisted there is no credible evidence to suggest this is necessary.
Earlier this week, the DoH issued a new report urging Britons aged between 19 and 64 to ensure they receive vigorous exercise such as swimming or volleyball to reduce the likelihood of developing illnesses in later life.