Water: How much water should I drink each day?

How much water should I drink each day?
How much water should I drink each day?


How much water should be drunk daily? It's a simple question but without easy answers. Studies have made different recommendations over the years, but in truth, your water needs depend on many factors, including your health, how active you are and where you live.

Although there is no one formula that works for everyone, knowing more about your body's fluid needs can help you assess how much water you drink each day.


*** Health benefits of water


Water is the body's main chemical component and makes up about 60 percent of your weight. All body systems depend on water. For example, water flushes toxins away from vital organs, transports nutrients into the cell, and provides a moist environment for the tissues of the ear, nose, and throat.

A lack of water can lead to dehydration, a condition that occurs when the body does not have enough water to carry out its normal functions. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you feel sick.


**** How much water do you need?


The body loses water every day through breathing, sweating, urination and defecation. For the body to function optimally, you must compensate for the lack of water supply by consuming drinks and foods that contain water.

So how much fluid does the average healthy adult who lives in a temperate climate need? The Institute of Medicine of America has determined the ADE for men to be about 13 cups (3 liters) of total beverages per day. The ADA for women is estimated to be about 9 cups (2.2 liters) of total beverages per day.


**** How about the advice to drink 8 glasses of water a day?


There is a foreign saying that says, "Drink 8 8-ounce glasses of water daily". This equates to about 1.9 liters, which is no different from the amount recommended by the Institute of Medicine. Although there is no solid evidence to support the "8 by 8" rule, this rule remains popular because it is easy to remember. Just keep in mind that the rule should be rephrased: "Drink 8 8-ounce glasses of fluid a day," since all fluids count as a whole throughout the day.


**** Factors that affect the body's water needs


You may need to adjust your total fluid intake based on how active you are, the climate you live in, your health status, and whether the woman is pregnant or breastfeeding.


** Playing sports. If you exercise or engage in any activity that makes you sweat, you need to drink extra water to replace fluid loss. Drinking an additional 1.5 to 2.5 cups (400 to 600 milliliters) of water is sufficient for short rounds of exercise, but intense sports lasting more than an hour (for example, running a marathon) require more fluid intake. The additional amount of fluid your body needs depends on the amount of sweat your body produces during exercise, and the duration and type of exercise.


** Intense exercise. During long bouts of intense exercise, it is best to use a sports drink that contains sodium, as it helps replace the amount of sodium lost in sweat and reduce the chances of hyponatremia, which can be life-threatening. In addition, continue to replace fluids after you finish exercising.


** The environment. Hot or humid weather can make you sweat and require you to drink more fluids. The hot indoor air can also cause the skin to lose its moisture in the winter time. In addition, areas above 8,200 feet (2,500 meters) can lead to increased urination and rapid breathing, which means that more fluid reserves are used up.


** Diseases or health conditions. When you have a fever or have vomiting or diarrhea, your body loses more fluid. In these cases, you should drink more water. In some cases, your doctor may recommend oral rehydration solutions, such as Gatorade, Powerade or CeraLite. You may also need to increase your fluid intake if you have certain conditions, such as a bladder infection or urinary tract stones. On the other hand, there are some pathological conditions, such as heart failure and some types of kidney, liver and adrenal diseases, that may impede water excretion and even require limiting fluid intake.


** Pregnancy or breastfeeding. Women who are pregnant or who are breast-feeding their children need to drink extra fluids to compensate for dehydration. Especially when feeding, large amounts of fluid are consumed. The Institute of Medicine of America recommends that pregnant women drink about 10 cups (2.3 liters) of fluids per day and women who are breast-feeding have about 13 cups (3.1 liters) of fluids per day.


**** Other than tap water: there are other sources of water


You don't need to rely solely on what you drink to meet your body's fluid needs. What you eat also supplies your body with a large proportion of its fluid needs. On average, food provides about 20 percent of the total water intake. For example, many fruits and vegetables such as watermelon and spinach contain 90 percent or more of their weight in water.

Additionally, drinks such as milk and juice are mostly made up of water. Even caffeinated drinks; such as coffee, tea or soda; You may contribute an amount of water, but it should not be a large percentage of your total daily water intake. Water remains the best option because it is calorie-free, inexpensive and readily available.


**** Maintain the fluid level in the body in a safe manner.


In general, if you drink enough fluids that you rarely feel thirsty and your urine is colorless or light yellow in color; The amount is about 6.3 cups (1.5 liters) or more per day if you keep measuring it; Then your water intake may be sufficient. And if you're concerned about your fluid intake or have health problems, see your doctor or certified dietitian. It may help you determine the right amount of water for your condition.


To avoid dehydration and make sure your body has the fluids it needs, make water your beverage of choice. Also, a good idea is to:


** Drink a glass of water or other zero-calorie or low-calorie beverage with each meal and between meals.


** Drink water before, during and after exercising.

It is possible to drink too much water, although this condition is not common. When the kidneys cannot expel the excess amount of water, the electrolyte (mineral) content in the blood decreases, resulting in low levels of sodium in the blood, a condition known as hyponatraemia. Endurance athletes, such as marathon runners, who drink a lot of water, are most at risk of developing hyponatremia. However, in general, it's rare for healthy adults who follow an average American diet to take in very large amounts of water.


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