How much water should I drink daily?

Recommend to others!


1. Overview


Water is essential for maintaining good health, but water intake varies according to individual needs. How much water should you drink each day? It’s a simple question, but the answer is not so easy.

Over time, studies were formulated various recommendations, but need water to a person depends on many factors, including general health, activity level and where they live.

Although there are available many general recommendations, obtaining more information about the need for fluids of the human body is useful for estimating the amount of water you should drink every day.


Contents

1. Overview
2. The health benefits of water
3. How much water do we need?
4. Factors that influence water needs
5. Other sources of liquid
6. The importance of hydration
7. Drinking water before, during and after exercise


2. The health benefits of water

Water is the main chemical component of the body and constitute approximately 60% of body weight. Each system function of a person’s body depends on water. For example, water helps eliminate toxins from vital organs, carries nutrients to cells and provides hydration to your nose, ears and throat.

Lack of water can lead to dehydration, a condition that occurs when there is not enough water in the body for the body functions to work properly. Even mild dehydration can cause low energy and fatigue.


3. How much water do we need?

Every day, a person’s body loses water through sweat, breath, urine and bowel movements. For the body to function properly it is necessary to regain these amounts of water by consuming beverages and foods that contain liquids.

Experts estimate that men should drink about 3 liters of water a day and women about 2.2 liters of water per day, therefore, the recommendation “drink two liters of water a day” is not so accurate.


4. Factors that influence water needs

You may need to modify total fluid intake depending on how active a person is, the climate in which he lives, the overall health condition or if pregnant or breastfeeding.

- Exercise – If a person makes exercise or engages in any activity that causes sweating, he need to drink an extra amount of water to compensate the fluid loss. A supplement of 400-600 ml should be sufficient for short series of exercises, but vigorous physical activity lasting more than an hour (eg, a marathon) requires the intake of large quantities of fluids.

The amount of additional liquid depends on how much a person sweats, but also the duration and type of physical activity. During extended sessions with intense exercise, it is recommended to consume special sports drinks containing large amount of sodium.

These will help replace sodium lost in sweat and reduce the chances of hyponatremia that could endanger a person’s life. Fluid replacement will continue after cessation of exercise.

- Climate – In hot or humid weather, a person will sweat and will require additional fluid intake. Altitudes above 2500 meters, can cause increased urine quantity, accelerate respiration and these processes will use more liquid stocks.

- General health – When a person has a fever, vomiting or diarrhea, the body loses additional fluids. In these cases, he should drink plenty of water. In some cases the doctor may recommend oral rehydration solutions.

Drinking plenty of fluids is recommended especially for bladder infections and urinary calculi. On the other hand, when a person suffers from heart failure, certain types of liver disease, kidney or adrenal gland that can affect the excretion of water, the fluid intake shall be limited.

- Pregnancy and lactation – Pregnant or breastfeeding women should be hydrated. Drink large amounts of fluids especially when nursing. An expectant mother should consume about 2.3 liters of fluid a day and nursing women about 3 liters of fluid per day.


5. Other sources of liquid

Although it is a good idea for a person to have a glass of water handy at all times, there is no need to pay too much attention to what kind of liquid will drink, because the need will be satisfied, excepting certain kind of drinks like coffee, soda etc. Including the consumption of food gives the body a significant amount of liquid.

On average, the food intake gives to the body approximately 20% of total needed water. For example, there are quite a few fruits and vegetables (such as watermelon) containing 90% or even more water. In addition, beverages such as milk and juice are composed mostly of water.

Even beer, wine and drinks that have caffeine (tea, coffee, juice) can be part of all liquids that should be consumed daily, but their excess should be avoided. Water is still the best alternative, as it contains no calories, is inexpensive and easily accessible.


6. The importance of hydration

Generally, if a person drinks enough fluids thirst rarely occurs and produces about 1.5 liters of colorless or pale urine, if the fluid intake is adequate. If there are concerns regarding fluid intake or involving various health problems, you should consult a doctor for advice on the appropriate amount of water.

To avoid dehydration and to ensure that the body receives the fluids it needs, water should be the main option. Water or other drinks with low calories will be consumed at every meal and between meals.


7. Drinking water before, during and after exercise

Although an uncommon situation, it is possible for a person to consume too much water. When the kidneys are unable to remove the excess of water, electrolytes in the blood are diluted and will result in low blood sodium (condition called hyponatremia).

Endurance athletes such as marathon runners who drink large amounts of water are at increased risk of suffering from hyponatremia. In general, however, the consumption of too much water is rarely seen in healthy adults.

Comments

comments

Speak Your Mind

*

Current day month ye@r *