How Much Water do you Need Each Day?
How much water should you drink each day? A simple question, yet no easy answer. Over the years, studies have given so many varying recommendations. We all can‘t have the same water needs, your hydration needs depend on many factors, including health, how active you are, and where you live.
No single formula fits everyone. But knowing more about your body’s need for fluids will help you know how much water to drink every day.
Benefits of Drinking Water
Water is one of the major components of your body and makes up about 50% to 70% of your body weight. Your body depends on water to survive.
Every cell, tissue, and organ in your body needs water to work properly. For example, water:
- Gets rid of wastes through urination, perspiration, and bowel movements
- Keeps your temperature normal
- Lubricates and cushions joints
- Protects sensitive tissues
Lack of water can lead to dehydration which is a condition that occurs when you don’t have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions. As little as mild dehydration can drain your energy and lead to tiredness.
How Much Water does your Body Need?
Everyday water is lost through activities like breathing, perspiration, urine, and bowel movements. For your body to function properly, the water supply must be replenished by consuming beverages, fruits, and foods containing water.
So how much fluid does the average, healthy adult living in a temperate climate need? The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake 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 recommendations cover fluids from water, other beverages, and food. About 20% of daily fluid intake usually comes from food and the rest from drinks.
Is it Advisable to Follow the 8 Cups Rule?
Taking at least 8 cups of water isn‘t bad advice and definitely isn‘t an impossible goal.
Most healthy people can stay hydrated by drinking water and other fluids whenever they feel thirsty. For some people, fewer than eight glasses a day might be enough. But other people might need more. Therefore, it isn‘t compulsory to follow the 8 cups rule, try to know how much water your body needs.
Factors that Determine the Total Water Intake of the Body
Not just exercise, If you do any activity that makes you sweat, you need to drink extra water because of the fluid loss. It’s important to drink water before, during, and after a workout.
Your environment determines the amount of water you take. Hot or humid weather can make you sweat and requires additional fluid. Dehydration also can occur at high altitudes, therefore, it‘s advisable to take much water over there.
Bad health conditions like fever, vomiting, or diarrhea cause your body to lose water. Drink more water or follow a doctor’s recommendation to drink oral rehydration solutions. Other conditions that might require increased fluid intake include bladder infections and urinary tract stones.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you may need additional fluids to stay hydrated. Extra water is needed in these times.
How to know if you are Drinking Enough Water
You are taking an appropriate amount of water if;
- You rarely feel thirsty
- Your urine is colorless or light yellow
You can meet a doctor or dietitian to help you determine the amount of water that’s you should take every day.
To prevent dehydration and make sure your body has the fluids it needs. Make water your beverage of choice. It’s a good idea to drink a glass of water:
- With each meal and between meals
- Before, during, and after exercise
- anytime you feel thirsty
Drinking too Much Water
This is rarely a problem for healthy adults. When you drink too much water, your kidneys can’t get rid of the excess water. The sodium content of your blood becomes diluted. This is called hyponatremia and it can be life-threatening.
Therefore, taking just the right amount of water is good for you every day. Consider all the factors listed above and seek the help of a physician if you are confused about how much water to take every day.