The human body is made up of roughly 60% water. Because your body loses water during the day, sufficient hydration is essential for healthy functioning. The most popular advice is to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day. This suggestion, however, is not supported by science.
In reality, your recommended daily water intake is influenced by a variety of factors, including your gender, weight, activity level, and environment. Understanding what influences your required water intake allows you to stay well hydrated throughout the day.
Your Daily Recommendation
The most fundamental parameters for establishing your required water consumption are your age and gender. According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine:
- Men should drink 104 ounces of water every day.
- Women should drink 74 ounces of water every day.
- Pregnant women should drink at least 80 ounces of water every day.
- Women who are breastfeeding should eat at least 104 ounces per day.
Children’s rules are determined by age rather than gender.
- Children aged 2 to 3 should drink 16 to 32 ounces of water each day.
- Children aged 4 to 8 should drink 40 ounces of water every day.
- Children aged 9 to 13 should drink 56 to 64 ounces of water each day.
- 14–18-year-olds should drink 64–88 ounces of water every day.
Other Factors Influencing Your Recommended Water Consumption
Water consumption is not a one-size-fits-all situation. While there is a general recommendation, your weight, exercise level, and health state all play a role in your required water consumption.
Bodyweight influences the quantity of water your body requires each day, just as someone weighing 135 pounds vs someone weighing 200 pounds has different calorie requirements. Drink half an ounce to one ounce of water per pound of body weight every day. This varies depending on other variables such as where you live, how active you are, and if you are pregnant or nursing.
Level of Activity
If you are more active, you will need more fluids to compensate for water loss via perspiration. When you exercise, you should drink 1.5 to 3 cups more water each day than you normally would.
If you live in a hot and humid area, you’re more prone to sweat and should drink extra fluids to compensate for the water loss. Similarly, if you live at a high elevation where it is drier, you will need to drink extra fluids to compensate.
When vomiting and losing extra fluids as a result of a cold, compensate by drinking more fluids. You may assist maintain your salt levels consistent by consuming sports drinks, electrolyte-enhanced liquids, or milk.
It is possible to drink too much water if you have thyroid illness, renal or heart problems, or are on any drugs that may induce water retention. Discuss your water consumption with your doctor and establish a limit to be safe.
The Advantages of Drinking Water
The human body needs fluids to operate effectively since it is largely constituted of water. Water keeps your organs and tissues healthy, maintains your body temperature, and keeps your skin healthy. It also transports oxygen to your cells and regulates electrolytes and sodium in your blood.
Water consumption aids weight reduction by increasing metabolism and decreasing hunger. A glass or two of water before meals makes you feel fuller, which causes you to eat less.
Water helps to stabilise your blood pressure and balance your pulse. It also lubricates joints and spinal cartilage, reducing joint discomfort and safeguarding your spine.
Water also removes toxins from your body via perspiration and urine. Water intake is also linked to a lower incidence of UTIs, constipation, kidney stones, urinary malignancies, heart disease, and stroke.
To function properly, your brain requires enough water intake. Mild dehydration may have a negative impact on energy, focus, mood, and memory.
Everything you eat has some fluid in it and adds to your daily water consumption. In fact, according to a 2005 research, the typical American gets around 20% of their daily water consumption through food. Foods like iceberg lettuce, strawberries, and watermelon provide your body with both moisture and vitamins.
Sodas, juice, and smoothies are hydrating, but they’re also heavy in calories and sugar, putting you at risk for conditions like diabetes, fatty liver disease, and heart disease. While sports drinks are thirst-quenching and offer optimal hydration, they are usually high in sugar.
While coffee and tea are both briefly hydrating, they also include caffeine, which causes you to use the toilet often and lose water. As a result, you will need to drink more to make up for the loss.
If you do not satisfy your body’s fluid requirements, it will begin to give you warning signals, such as:
- Muscle weakness or ache
- Dry skin, lips, and mouth
- Breath that stinks
- Urine that is dark or stained
- Unhappy mood
Dehydration should not be handled lightly, and you should rehydrate gradually so as not to shock your body. Contact a medical expert or go to the emergency room right away if you are severely dehydrated.
How to Increase Your Water Consumption
If you’re having trouble staying hydrated throughout the day, try basic measures like drinking water before meals or eating foods with high moisture content.
Always Carry A Water Bottle
Having a water bottle nearby makes it simpler to consume water throughout the day. The visible reminder and continual availability of water are more convenient than having to get up every time you realise you’re thirsty.
Instead of using plastic water bottles, consider investing in reusable ones, which are less costly and healthier for the environment. Some bottles are insulated and can keep your water chilled for many hours.
Set an intake goal.
Once you’ve determined how much water you need each day, set objectives to drink a given quantity of water by a certain time. Make a SMART goal, which is one that is precise, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. For instance, you may set a goal of finishing your 21-ounce water bottle by midday or drinking 5 glasses of water by 3 p.m. The objectives should be reachable and obvious.
You may also try installing a smartphone app to measure your consumption and keep yourself responsible. Water monitors are a simple way to remain hydrated and create reminders.
Drink A Glass Of Water Before Or With Meals
An easy approach to getting extra water is to drink an 8-ounce glass of water before each meal. You obtain an extra 24 ounces of water per day if you consume three meals a day. You not only boost your water intake, but water also helps you feel fuller and eat less, since thirst is sometimes misinterpreted as hunger.
Purchase a Water Filter
While tap water is typically safe to drink, a filter gives you peace of mind regarding the quality of your water while also improving the flavour and scent. Filters are available in a variety of price ranges and may be purchased as basic water jugs or as whole filtration systems for your home’s plumbing.
Water filters are both less expensive and healthier for the environment than buying bottled water. They may last for many months, while bottled water requires frequent trips to the store to replenish.
Having water readily accessible will encourage you to drink more of it.
Consider flavoured or sparkling water.
Some individuals may struggle to drink water throughout the day because it tastes bland to them. Fortunately, switching to flavoured water may alleviate this problem. To make plain water more interesting, add a few calorie-free flavour drops, but keep in mind that they may include artificial sweeteners.
Add a touch of lemon or infuse your water with cucumbers, strawberries, or mint for a more natural approach to flavoured water. While you may just put these fruits into your glass or water bottle, infusion bottles are simple to locate, reasonably priced, and practical.
If you want the flavour or texture of soda but without the high sugar content, consider sparkling water. It is available in fruity or simple tastes. While most sparkling waters are not as sugary as soda, they are a decent option and help you drink more water.
Incorporating foods with high water content into your diet is a simple approach to enhancing your daily water consumption. To some degree, all meals include water, but the most moisture-rich options are brothy soups, cucumbers, grapefruit, and zucchini. These meals not only increase your hydration consumption but also provide vitamins and minerals.
Is it possible to drink too much water?
While it is uncommon, it is possible to over-consume fluids, a condition is known as “hyponatremia.” Excess fluids dilute the electrolytes in your blood, causing your sodium levels to drop. As a consequence, you may have tiredness, nausea, headaches, muscular spasms or cramps, and seizures.
Furthermore, if you have a certain health condition, such as thyroid illness, kidney, liver, or heart issues, or if you take certain drugs, you should avoid drinking too much water. In any situation, call your doctor for further medical examination and expert treatment.
What are the most hydrating beverages?
Water is by far the most hydrating beverage and your greatest choice since it is easily accessible and free. Milk, infused water, natural fruit juice, and coconut water are all good alternatives for hydrating beverages since they include vitamins and minerals.
Does drinking water aid in weight loss?
Water intake, when combined with a good diet and exercise, may help with weight reduction. Staying hydrated momentarily increases your metabolism, and drinking water before meals might suppress your hunger, decreasing your calorie consumption.
Is it possible to cleanse by drinking water?
Water that has been infused with fruits, vegetables, or herbs is known as detox water. Some feel that these additional nutrients may help remove toxins from your body, regulate pH, assist in weight reduction, and boost your energy and appearance. This assertion, however, lacks scientific support.
While infused water is a healthful beverage, it is not superior to plain water. People may drink more water than they typically would due to the pleasant tastes of fresh herbs or fruits, enjoying the advantages of water and assuming that infused water and weight reduction are associated.
How can I tell whether I’m drinking enough water?
The colour of your urine is the greatest measure of hydration. A well-hydrated person will have light yellow or clear urine. If your pee is black or discoloured, you may be dehydrated and should drink more fluids. Furthermore, if you drink enough water, you will seldom be thirsty during the day.
Your water intake is determined by your age, weight, gender, and surroundings. A doctor may advise you on how much water you should drink.
Hydration is essential for the body to operate correctly. Because the human body is mostly water, optimum hydration benefits both your physical and mental health. If you want to drink more water, consume water-rich meals and set SMART objectives to increase your intake.