When a person asks themselves, “How much water do I need on a daily basis?” there isn’t going to be a single answer. Even though many people like to assume they know the “8 glasses a day” rule, it’s not necessarily the best option. Several factors determine the healthy amount of water a person should consume during the day, which is why research into the topic usually have varying results.
Understanding The Importance Of Water
Seeing as the body consists of roughly 60% water, it’s natural that every organ functions with it. Water is used to flush toxins out of the body and it carries vital nutrients to cells. At the same time it creates moisture for areas such as the throat, nose and ears.
Through things like breathing, sweating and trips to the bathroom people lose water. In return water is consumed to replace the amount that was lost. If the water isn’t replaced it will lead to dehydration and a loss of functionality. In fact, a mild case of dehydration can quickly be felt as a constant loss of energy.
The Ideal Amount Of Water
According to the Institute of Medicine there is an average intake for adult men and women who live in a balanced climate. In other words, areas that fall between tropic and Polar Regions. For men the ideal amount comes to 13 cups, which is about 3 liters. Women need to consume roughly 9 cups, adding up to about 2.2 liters.
All The Variables
As mentioned before, several factors are going to determine how much water a person should drink. Their habits, age, gender, lifestyle and climate situation all come into account. For example:
– People Who Exercise – For individuals who live an active lifestyle and regularly visit the gym, it’s recommended to drink about 2 cups of extra water on top of the suggested amount mentioned above. The loss of fluids through sweating has to be balanced with extra intake. When the exercise regime is more intense than usual then sports drinks are suggested, because they also replace the sodium that is lost with the water.
– Extreme Environments – Moving away from temperate climates and towards more extreme environments, it’s also recommended to increase water intake. In tropical and humid weather sweating is more frequent, while higher altitude requires more breathing and probably more frequent bathroom breaks.
– Health Conditions – Common health problems such as vomiting and diarrhea obviously cause the body to lose addition water, which is why doctors typically recommend lots of fluid. Also note that certain conditions, such as bladder infections and even heart failure, could be a sign to reduce water intake.
– Pregnancy – The Institute of Medicine suggests that women who are pregnant up their water intake to 10 cups a day. As for women who are breastfeeding the intake should be 13 cups.
When you think about how much water do I need really, don’t just think about the liquid form. Food can make up about 20% of water intake, especially if they are rich in moisture, such as watermelon and spinach.