How much water should you drink?
Water is vital for good health. How much water we should drink in a day? Are you drinking enough water?
I know you would prefer a simple and concise answer, probably a number, but the answer to this question depends on many factors. In this article, we will try to answer your questions as simple and clear as possible.
How much water should I drink every day?
This is a simple question that has no easy answer.
Over the years, studies have provided varying recommendations. Your water requirements depend on many factors, such as your health, where you live, and how active you are.
No single formula fits everyone. Knowing more about your body’s fluid requirements will help you determine how much water you should be drinking each day.
What are the health benefits associated with water?
Water, the main chemical component of your body, accounts for approximately 50% to 70% of your body weight and therefore, water is essential for your body’s survival.
In the Journal of Biological Chemistry 158, H.H. Mitchell states that the brain, heart, and lungs contain 73% and 83%, respectively. The skin is 64% water, while muscles and kidneys contain 79%. Even bones are watery at 31%. Water is essential for every cell, tissue, and organ of your body to function properly.
Here are some functions that water performs in the body:
- Eliminates wastes via urination and perspiration.
- Keeps your temperature normal
- Joint lubricants and cushions
- Protects sensitive tissue
We cannot fail to make a special mention of the increased health benefits of alkaline water. Being microstructured, ionized alkaline water tends to accelerate all processes in the body, from intestinal absorption to cellular functions. You can read more about this topic on Ionized water helps you lead a healthy life.
Dehydration can occur when your body doesn’t have enough water to perform everyday functions. Even mild dehydration can cause fatigue and drain your energy.
How much water does your body need?
Each day, water is lost through perspiration, sweat, urine, and bowel movements. Drinking water-rich foods and beverages is essential for your body’s proper functioning.
How much fluid is required for an average adult in a temperate climate to live comfortably? According to the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, a daily fluid intake of at least 1.2 litres is recommended.
Men consume approximately 15.5 cups (3.7 Liters) of fluids per day, while women drink about 11.5 cups (2.7 Liters) of fluids per day.
These recommendations include fluids from water, beverages, and food. Around 20% of your daily fluid intake comes from food, and the rest is from beverages.
How about eight glasses per day?
Indeed, on the NHS website, our government recommends that you should drink 6-8 glasses or more of fluids per day. Most people have heard of the eight glasses of water per day rule. It’s simple to remember and a reasonable goal.
Drinking water and other fluids is an excellent way to stay hydrated, even for those who aren’t healthy. Some people may only need eight glasses per day. Others might require more.
There are several reasons why you might need to adjust your fluid intake:
- Exercise. You should drink more water if you are doing any activity that causes you to sweat. You should drink water before, during, and after your workout.
- Environment. Warm or humid conditions can cause sweating and may require additional fluid. High altitudes can also lead to dehydration.
- Health. Fluid loss occurs when you have a fever or vomiting. You can drink more water, or you can follow a doctor’s advice to take oral rehydration. Bladder infections and stones in the urinary tract are two other conditions that may require fluid intake.
- Breastfeeding and pregnancy. You may need extra fluids to keep hydrated.
It is water the only options for staying hydrated?
The NHS recommends that we drink plenty of water because it is good and healthy to quench our thirst. Water has zero calories and no sugars like juices, which could damage your teeth.
You can also drink plain tea, fruit tea and coffee without added sugar. Sparkling water is an excellent alternative to plain water. You can also heat water to infuse tea bags, coffee or a slice of lemon. For extra flavour, you can add squash without added sugar or fruit juice.
It is water the only option for staying hydrated? No. You also get a large portion of your fluids from what you eat. Many fruits and vegetables like watermelon or spinach are almost entirely water-based in weight.
Drinks like milk, juice and herbal teas contain a lot of water. Caffeinated beverages, such as soda and coffee can help you get your daily water intake. Sugar-sweetened drinks are fine, but be careful. Sugary sweetened drinks such as energy drinks, regular sodas, and sports drinks can often contain lots of sugar. This may cause you to consume more calories than necessary.
How can I tell if I am drinking enough?
- It is rare to feel thirsty.
- Your urine is either colourless or light yellow.
- A dietitian or doctor can help you decide how much water you should drink each day.
Water is the best choice for you to prevent dehydration. But remember, thirst is nothing but a symptom of dehydration. It is good not to wait for the feeling of thirst to appear but to drink water regularly.
Drinking water is a good idea:
- Between meals and with every meal
- Before, during, and after an exercise
- You feel thirsty
But don’t forget, the quality of the water you drink is as important as its quantity. It is a whole discussion that we will detail in a future article related to the options we have for the water we drink. If we have to choose between plastic bottled water and tap water, the choice could be difficult, both of which have well-known disadvantages.
However, let’s not forget that there are such devices that filter, alkalize and even ionize water, such as high-performance water ionizers. After all, all that matters is that the water you drink is clean, free of impurities, germs or chemicals. If the water has a slightly alkaline pH, a negative OPRP and is microstructured, we can already declare ourselves lucky. We will dedicate a future article to water ionizers, but until then, here is an example of a water ionizer: the Prime 901S water ionizer.
Do I have to be concerned about drinking too much water?
Healthy, well-nourished adults don’t need to be concerned about drinking too much water. Sometimes, athletes may drink excessive amounts of water to avoid dehydration after intense or prolonged exercise.
In some extreme cases, your kidneys won’t be able to eliminate excess water if you consume too much and your blood sodium level becomes diluted and Thyponatremia can lead to serious health problems.
Specialists also recommend that when you decide to increase the amount of water you drink, you do so gradually to reach a healthy level of hydration.