We all know water is important, for us. Do you know exactly how much your body needs per day? Do you know the source of water that you consume every day? These and more are the questions we are looking to find answers in this article.
Life on earth without water is impossible. It is a key element in sustaining life. It is amazing to know that our bodies are made of 60% water and the fact that a human fetus is 97% water is even more mind blowing. This gives us an insight into the importance of staying hydrated and maintaining the right water composition in our bodies.
So you might ask how much water should I drink. A common answer would be 2 liters or 8 glasses. But every individual is different in their makeup, activities they perform on a day to day basis, health problems they have, surroundings and climate they live in and other lifestyle factors. The truth is, the right quantity of water one should drink differs from one person to another. Also, there is no one specific number that you can follow for all 365 days. A recent study conducted by Harvard Health Publishing shows that a person should vary the amount of water intake depending on the body’s condition. But before committing to any number, make sure you consider other factors that might change the quantity of water required by your body.
How much water should you drink a day based on your age?
Adults – People of ages 19 and Older
Adults are recommended to have at least 6 glasses of water every day with each glass having a capacity of 8 ounces. People living in the hot and dry climates can increase this amount to 8 or more glasses. If a person is sick with flu, urinary tract infection, these numbers can vary. Asking advice from a doctor is recommended in such cases. Also, the amount of water to consume during breastfeeding or pregnancy changes.
The amount of water intake in children varies depending on their ages. If a girl or boy is between the ages 4 and 8, he or she should drink five cups or 40 ounces of water per day. For those between 7 and 13 years, drinking 7 to 8 cups or 56 to 64 ounces is advised. For teenagers between 14 and 18, drinking 8 to 11 cups or 64 to 88 ounces per day is suggested.
How much water to drink a day if you are breastfeeding or pregnant?
Women who are breastfeeding or pregnant are more prone to getting dehydrated and so should drink more water than regular adults. Breastfeeding women are recommended to drink 13 cups or 104 ounces of water. Pregnant women should drink at least 80 ounces or 10, 8-ounce glasses per day.
Factors affecting the quantity of drinking water you need.
The recommended water intake for people with diseases is different depending on what they are suffering from, fever, cold, diarrhea, or others. Below are different commonly
Flu or Cold
When you have the flu or a cold, the body loses water due to sweating and runny nose. Compensating this water loss is essential to prevent dehydration and increase in temperature of the body. Drinking plenty of water speeds the recovery process. A person with cold or flu should drink at least 2 liters of water per day.
If you have diarrhea you should drink a least 7 eight ounce glasses or 1.7 liters of water every 24 hours.
When having a fever and taking medications, a person should increase the quantity of water intake to 10, 8-ounce glasses of water per day. Adding electrolytes in the water might be recommended by a doctor.
The quantity of water intake changes depending on the health problem you have, consult your doctor to know the right amount of water to drink every day.
Water recommendations based on Climate
During summer a person should increase the number of glasses from 8 to 10. Also, drinking water every 2 hours keeps the body content. If the summer is too hot, maybe if you live in Pheonix, Arizona, increase the consumption to 12 glasses a day.
Drinking 6 to 8 glasses of water per day is sufficient for people living in a sedentary state during winter. If you exercise, keep it to 8 glasses per day.
What are the Symptoms of drinking less water?
When a person reduces the intake of water for a prolonged time, the immediate effects include tiredness, sleepiness, and fatigue. Also, headaches, constipation, dizziness, constant mood change, depression, and irritability become very common. In severe cases, the organs in the body get dehydrated and the person starts to experience muscle cramps, joint aches, sunken skin, and eyes. If neglected, unconsciousness, rapid heartbeat, low blood pressure, fever, and feeling of nausea can occur.
Why is drinking adequate quantities of water essential?
Like said before an adult body is made of 60 percent water. While the human body uses water to excrete waste in the form of urine, we need to replenish it by drinking enough water. In addition, water is necessary to carry out bodily functions such as
- Bowel movement
- Flushing bacteria out of the body through the bladder
- Carrying oxygen and nutrients to the cells
- Balancing the blood pressure
- Stabilizing the heartbeat
- Facilitating smooth movement of joints
- Regulating temperature of the body, and
- Maintaining balance of electrolytes
To support these activities, we have to consume enough fluids or water and stay hydrated at all times.
What Lifestyle changes can you do?
Carry a water bottle along with you at all times
This ensures you have access to safe drinking water wherever you go, office, gym, restaurant, on the road or when you are somewhere remote in the desert. Also, drinking water with a healthy mineral composition and PH level helps the body to maintain immunity.
Substitute water for beverages
If you are used to consuming coffee, tea, and carbonated drinks, you should substitute them with water or fruit juice. Drinking water instead of coffee will promote good sleep and healthy kidneys. It reduces food cravings and keeps your body free of toxins. Carbonated drinks contain processed sugar that increases body weight and weaken digestive system. Drinking water instead will strengthen your metabolism and help the body to function at an optimum level of energy.
Drink water half an hour before and 1 hour after having food
Many gulp glasses of water right after their meal. This dilutes the digestive enzymes and results in partial digestion and absorption of nutrients in the intestine. Drinking water half an hour before cleanses the stomach and prepares it for digestion. On the other, drinking water an hour after having food, subsidies the acidity in the stomach and energizes the body.
We hope this helps, let us know below in the comment section.