How much water should a person consume daily? It’s quite a simple question but it’s extremely difficult to get the answer.
Studies have produced varying recommendations over the years, but your individual water needs depend on several factors. These factors include your health, activity level, and location. There is no one-size-fits-all formula for how much water you need to drink every day. But understanding your body’s need for fluids will help you figure out the right amount of water to consume daily.
Although we may be tempted by iced mocha cappuccinos and matcha teas, water is the most essential element for good health. The body is constantly shedding water, mostly through urine and sweat but also from the regular cellular processes of breathing. So, to avoid dehydration, you need to get plenty of water from drinking and food every day. But how much are you drinking?
In this article, we will discuss water intake facts and explain how easy and important it is to keep yourself hydrated.
Benefits of drinking water
- Maintains a normal body temperature.
- Eliminates waste by urinating, sweating, and bowel movements.
- Joint lubricant and cushioning agent.
- Safeguards delicate tissues and organs.
- Proper transportation of all nutrients and oxygen to your cells.
- Removing bacteria from your bladder.
- Improve digestion.
- Keep constipation at bay.
- Blood pressure normalization.
- Keep the balance of electrolytes (sodium).
- Provide clear, wrinkle-free skin.
The water you drink is essential to your health as it makes up about 50% to 70% of your body weight. To thrive, your body needs water. It plays a key role in keeping all the body’s systems running smoothly. Also, sometimes, water is considered the fourth micronutrient, along with protein, fats, and carbohydrates. It is essential for the proper functioning of every cell, tissue, and organ in your body. Water is a valuable nutrient that can help you to:
Research has also shown that drinking water may boost exercise performance and help with weight loss, reduce allergy symptoms, and ease asthma. So, drinking enough fluids to support the functions of your body helps keep you hydrated.
Dehydration can occur when there is insufficient water in your body to carry out normal functions. Dehydration can cause weakness, low blood pressure, dizziness, confusion, and dark urine, among other symptoms. Even mild dehydration may tire you out and sap your energy.
How much water should you drink a day?
Our body loses water every day through breathing, perspiration, and urine. To keep your body running smoothly, you must replenish its water supply by drinking or eating liquid-containing beverages or foods.
According to the United States National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, healthy adults living in temperate climates should consume:
- Men: About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluid per day.
- Women: About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluid per day.
These recommendations include fluids from food, beverages, and water. However, the average person gets about 20% of their daily fluid needs from food and the remaining 80% from beverages.
Factors that influence your daily water consumption
Furthermore, there is no one size fits all answer for how much water you need to drink every day. Water intake may vary from person to person as it depends on many factors such as:
Where You Live: People living in hot, humid areas will need more water than those who live at a moderate temperature with low humidity. People also require more water when they are living at high altitudes.
Food Habits: If you drink a lot of coffee and other caffeinated beverages, or your diet is high in salty, spicy, or sugary foods—you will likely need to drink more water. Also, if you don’t consume many water-rich foods like fresh or cooked fruits and vegetables, your body may need more drinking water.
Climate: If it’s hot, you may need more water than if it’s cold because of perspiration.
Environment: If you are exposed to hot temperatures or hot rooms, you might feel thirstier more quickly than usual.
How active you are: If you are active during the day or do physical work, you will need to drink more water than someone who sits at a desk all day.
Health: If you are ill, if you vomit or have diarrhea, or if you are on medications that cause fluid loss—you may need to drink more water.
Pregnant or breastfeeding: If you’re pregnant or nursing your baby, be sure to drink extra water so that both you and your child stay hydrated.
How to keep yourself healthy and hydrated?
It’s crucial for good health to consume plenty of water each day. However, you can meet your fluid needs not only by drinking water but what you eat also provides a significant portion of the fluids in your body—just look at all those juicy fruits and vegetables with high water content such as watermelon, spinach, salad, and much more.
Additionally, many beverages contain water. For example, milk contains about 87 percent water by volume; the juice is made up of 80-90 percent of water; and herbal teas generally consist of over 90 percent of water. Even caffeinated drinks such as coffee or soda can contribute to your daily fluid intake if you drink enough of them, However, regular sodas, energy drinks, and sports drinks contain large amounts of added sugars that provide more calories than most people need in their diet. So, be aware.
To stay hydrated, drink water before you feel thirsty—especially if you’re exercising or it’s hot outside. However, it’s always a good idea to drink water regularly throughout the day, whether or not you feel thirsty. Some tips that you can follow:
- Always carry a reusable water bottle with you.
- When it’s hot out, keep cold water in the refrigerator.
- Drink water before and after exercise.
- Try adding a new flavor to water such as lemon, strawberries, mint, or any of your favorite.
- Always keep water readily available while dining.
What happens if you consume too much water?
Some people may develop hyponatremia, a condition in which there is a decrease in blood sodium levels, as a result of consuming too much water. This can occasionally happen when someone consumes excessive amounts of beverages during a demanding physical activity, like running a marathon. People who have chronic kidney disease, heart failure, or liver disease, which prevents them from excreting water from their bodies as effectively as healthy people, should talk to their doctor about how much water they should drink.
At the end of the day, nobody can precisely estimate your water requirements. Many different things affect this. To find out what works best for you, experiment with various water consumption patterns to see what works best for you. With more water than usual, some people may perform better while others may simply require more bathroom breaks. So, do whatever suits you and your body, or take the doctor’s advice if requires. Stay Healthy Stay Hydrated!