Drinking Water for Health: How Much Water Should You Drink Every Day?
Almost everything that your body does every day leads to some form of water loss. From breathing, sleeping, perspiration, urine and bowel movements; these are normal functions which make you lose more water.
Lack of water will lead to dehydration which will open you up to a host of ailments and unwanted conditions. These include headaches, migraines, muscle cramps, fatigue and compromised cognition.
In order to avoid dehydration, the Institute of Medicine recommends that men should drink approximately 13 cups or 3 liters of water every day. Women should target 9 cups or 2.2 liters of water per day.
Your baseline number for water intake should exclude processed water- based drinks such as sodas, fruit juices and electrolyte replacement sources. These are loaded with refined sugars, sodium, high fructose corn syrup and artificial ingredients which have been linked with various forms of illnesses.
How about the popular advice of drinking 8 glasses of water a day? The advice is also known as the “8 by 8 rule” because a glass of water measures 8 ounces. This would equate to 1.9 liters of water which is close to the recommendation of the Institute of Medicine.
Factors that Affect Water Requirement
Your water intake could also be influenced by your lifestyle. Here are factors that will make you increase the volume of water you have to drink:
- Any type of physical activity will result in loss of water primarily through perspiration. Light to moderate physical activity will require at least an additional 1.5 to 2.5 cups of water or 600 to 700 milliliters. But longer or more strenuous forms of exercise such as high intensity training or long distance runs will require more.
- Humid Environment. If you live in a tropical country or if the level of humidity is unusually high, you should drink more water than you would in a temperate climate. Add at least 2 to 3 cups of water to stay reasonably hydrated.
- When you are afflicted with conditions that result in severe water intake, you make have to double your consumption of water. These conditions include fever, diarrhea or vomiting. One of the signs of HPV Warts is weight loss which could lead to dehydration. Insufficient water intake may result in kidney stones, muscle spasms or Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). Unmitigated, these could lead to worse conditions such as organ failure, cardiac arrest and adrenal disease.
- Pregnant women and those who are breast- feeding their newborn need to increase their water intake to maintain fluid balance and to produce more milk. The Institute of Medicine recommends that pregnant women should up their water intake to 10 cups per day while breast- feeding women should increase theirs to 13 cups per day.
You can also get water from other good sources such as fruits and vegetables. Among the best sources are:
In addition to water, these fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals and healthy compounds such as fiber which are all good for you.
How to Know if You are Safely Hydrated
One of the most effective ways to check if you are properly hydrated is the color of your urine.
Generally, the clearer your urine the better your level of hydration. Your urine should be almost transparent or colorless. By contrast, dark colored urine is a sure sign of dehydration.
Here are 2 simple guidelines on how to stay properly hydrated:
- Include a glass of water with every meal.
- Drink water frequently during exercise. For example, if you lifting weights, drink water after every set.
If you have concerns about your water intake, consult with your doctor or dietician.
The important thing to remember is to stay hydrated every day. You should always have a bottle of water with you everywhere you go. If you feel thirsty, drink right away. Thirst is the body’s signal that it needs water.