How much water should you consume on a daily basis? It’s a simple question with no simple answer. Over the years, several studies have resulted in differing recommendations. However, your specific requirements are determined by a variety of factors, including your health, level of activity, and location. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Knowing more about your body’s fluid requirements, on the other hand, will assist you estimate how much you should drink each day.
An Essential Need
Water takes up around half to seventy percent of your bodyweight and is the most important chemical component. The survival of your body is reliant on water. It is required for the efficient functioning of every cell, tissue, and organ in your body. For instance, it:
- Gets rid of wastes through urination, perspiration and bowel movements
- Keeps your temperature normal
- Lubricates and cushions joints
- Protects sensitive tissues
Dehydration is a condition that develops when your body does not have enough water to carry out normal tasks due to a lack of water. Dehydration, even minor dehydration, can sap your vitality and leave you exhausted. You lose fluid every day through your breath, sweat, urine, and bowel motions. You must refill your body’s fluid supply by consuming water-containing beverages and foods in order for it to function correctly.
So, how much fluid does a normal, healthy adult in a temperate environment require? An sufficient daily fluid intake, according to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in the United States, is:
- About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day for men
- About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women
These guidelines apply to fluids such as water, other beverages, and meals. Food accounts for about 20% of daily fluid intake, with the remainder coming from liquids.
You’ve probably heard that drinking eight glasses of water a day is a good idea. It’s a simple aim to remember, and it’s a sensible one. The majority of healthy people can keep themselves hydrated by drinking water and other fluids whenever they are thirsty. For some persons, less than eight glasses per day may be sufficient. Others, on the other hand, may require more.
Adapt Your Intake
You might need to modify your total fluid intake based on several factors:
- Exercise. If you engage in any activity that causes you to sweat, you should drink enough of water to compensate for the fluid loss. Water should be consumed before, during, and after an exercise.
- Environment. Hot or humid weather can make you sweat and requires additional fluid. Dehydration also can occur at high altitudes.
- Overall health. When you have a fever, vomiting, or diarrhea, your body loses fluids. Drink additional water or use oral rehydration treatments as directed by your doctor. Bladder infections and urinary tract stones are two more illnesses that may necessitate greater fluid intake.
- Pregnancy and breast-feeding. If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, you may need additional fluids to stay hydrated.
Is Water The Only Option?
No. You don’t have to rely just on water to keep hydrated. A major percentage of your diet is also provided by what you eat. Many fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon and spinach, are virtually entirely made up of water.
Water also makes up the majority of liquids including milk, juice, and herbal teas. Even caffeinated beverages, such as coffee and soda, can help you meet your daily fluid requirements. However, limit your intake of sugar-sweetened beverages. Regular soda, energy or sports drinks, and other sweet drinks sometimes have a lot of added sugar, which might supply more calories than necessary.
Your fluid intake is probably adequate if:
- You rarely feel thirsty
- Your urine is colorless or light yellow
Your doctor or dietitian can help you determine the amount that’s right for you every day.
Make water your beverage of choice to avoid dehydration and ensure your body receives the fluids it requires. Drinking a glass of water is a good idea:
- With each meal and between meals
- Before, during and after exercise
- If you feel thirsty
Drinking Too Much Water?
For healthy, well-nourished individuals, drinking too much is rarely a concern. Athletes may drink excessive amounts of water in an attempt to avoid dehydration during prolonged or strenuous exercise. Your kidneys can’t get rid of excess fluid if you consume too much water. Your blood’s sodium content gets diluted. This is known as hyponatremia, and it can be fatal.