Your body will run like the properly lubricated engine it is if you know how much water to drink each day. But simply being aware of how much water you should consume each day is just the beginning. Learn how to determine your fluid requirements in the following paragraphs. You’ll also learn why it’s so beneficial to drink water and which meals are high in water.
What Are the Benefits of Drinking Water?
About 50% to 70% of your body weight is made up of water. But as you breathe, sweat, urinate, and have bowel motions, you lose a lot of water.
Knowing how much water to consume each day enables you to refill your water reserves more successfully. In turn, your body can benefit from this:
- Control blood pressure and heart rate
- Deliver nutrients and oxygen-rich blood to cells, tissues and organs
- Digest foods
- Filter and remove waste and toxins
- Get your bowels moving easily, especially if you’re constipated
- Prevent kidney damage and disorders
- Protect, lubricate and cushion joints, bones, skin, brain and spinal cord
- Regulate body temperature
Additionally, drinking water may encourage weight loss, improve exercise performance, and reduce allergy and asthma symptoms.
What Happens When You Don’t Drink Enough Water?
The best indicator of how much water to drink each day is thirst, not hunger. It also isn’t a reliable sign of dehydration, a medical disease that develops when your body lacks the water it needs to function properly.
In fact, by the time you begin to feel thirsty, you may already be dehydrated. In addition to thirst, dehydration can cause you to experience:
- Dizzy, faint or lightheaded
- Very hot or cold
You may also have:
- Cravings for sugar but little to no appetite
- Dark urine
- Dry cough, mouth or tongue
- Flushed or dry skin
- Muscle cramps
- Rapid pulse but low blood pressure
Your brain’s blood arteries may also constrict if you’re very dehydrated. Thinking, memory, reaction time, balance, and coordination are just a few of the cognitive processes that may be impacted.
Additionally, since your kidneys store pee when the level of fluid in your blood drops too low, you’ll urinate less. This indicates that less waste and poisons are leaving your body through your kidneys.
Is 64 Oz of Water a Day Enough?
The U.S. in the 1940s USFNB’s Food and Nutrition Board provided daily water consumption recommendations to the general public. They suggested consuming 10.5 cups (84.5 ounces) each day.
The issue is that the USFNB never actually referenced clinical studies to back up these recommendations. This evolved into the “8 cups (64 ounces) of water daily” norm we are all familiar with today.
What Happens If You Drink Too Much Water?
Can water be consumed in excess? If you drink too much water too soon, you risk dehydrating your body.
The electrolyte equilibrium in your body can be upset by excessive water. These contain essential minerals including chloride, sodium, potassium, and magnesium. The level of salt in your blood is diluted when you overhydrate.
Additionally, hyponatremia may manifest if sodium levels go too low. Headaches, nauseousness, and vomiting are possible symptoms of this significant medical illness. Muscle cramps, spasms, and weakness could also be present.
If your hyponatremia worsens, you can exhibit symptoms of water toxicity (also called water poisoning or water intoxication). You can appear bewildered and disoriented, as well as experience delusions and hallucinations. If left untreated, these symptoms could worsen and lead to delirium, seizures, coma, and even death.
How Much Water Do I Need to Drink a Day?
For the majority of healthy persons living in temperate regions, the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) offers broad guidelines on how much water to drink daily:
15.5 cups (124 fluid ounces) for males
11.5 cups (92 fluid ounces) for females
NAM recommends these daily fluid recommendations for kids and teens:
1 to 3 years-old = 4 cups (32 ounces)
4 to 8 years-old = 5 cups (40 ounces)
9 to 13 years-old = 7 to 8 cup (56 to 64 ounces)
14 to 18 years-old = 8 to 11 cups (64 to 88 ounces)
Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers may need upwards of 13 to 16 cups of healthy fluids daily.
Can My Fluid Needs Change?
Your lifestyle, amount of activity, and state of health can all have an impact on how much water you should drink each day, in addition to your age and gender at birth. These, for instance, can raise your fluid requirements:
- Drinking alcohol
- Exercise, especially lengthy and intense workouts
- Prolonged vomiting and diarrhea
- Extreme temperatures (very hot or cold)
- High altitudes
Additionally, if you’re an older adult, you might need to consume extra fluids. That’s because as you become older, your body’s fluid volume decreases. Additionally, you might not be able to control your body temperature as well as you once could.
Your risk of dehydration may increase if you use medications and/or have one or more long-term medical issues. Diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and obesity are a few of these. All of these increase your risk of developing heat illness.
How to Calculate How Much Water to Drink
How much water should be consumed each day is calculated using a straightforward formula. In ounces, consume half your body weight in water:
Your weight x 0.5 = daily fluid needs
Example: 200 pounds x 0.5 = 100 fluid ounces
Water Calculator for Pregnant and Breastfeeding Mothers
Drink 24 to 32 ounces additional water each day, in addition to your typical daily fluid intake, if you’re expecting or nursing.
Daily fluid needs + 24 to 32 = daily fluid needs for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers
Example: 100 + 24 to 32 = 124 to 132 fluid ounces
Water Calculator With Workouts
For every 30 minutes of exercise, add 12 ounces of water to your daily fluid requirements:
Usual fluid needs + (exercise minutes ÷ 30 ✕ 12 oz) = daily fluid needs with exercise
Example: 100 + (60 ÷ 30 ✕ 12 oz) = 124 fluid ounces
How to Stay Hydrated With Other Fluids
You can obtain your daily fluid requirements in addition to water from the tap or a store. Tea, milks (dairy and plant-based), and whole (100%) fruit juices are all options for hydration. If you are worried about other health risks, though, pay attention to the additional sugars and preservatives in store-bought products.
And if coffee is your preferred beverage, you may enjoy roughly 2 cups of your preferred brew without having to worry about becoming dehydrated. That is about 180 mg of caffeine, which increases energy.
Try these if you’re feeling a little more daring:
- Beet juice
- Bone broth
- Matcha tea
- Oat milk
Foods With High Water Content
You don’t just have to determine how much water you should consume each day. Additionally, think about ways to satisfy your thirst with foods high in water, such fruits and vegetables.
20% of your daily hydration intake should come from these foods, according to NAM. Melons, cucumbers, berries, pineapples, kiwis, and portobello mushrooms are just a few examples of the many tasty and hydrating items you may include in your diet.
Does Sparkling Water Hydrate You?
Your body can be hydrated with sparkling water just as effectively as with regular water. They’re a far better option than beverages like regular or diet Coke that have artificial sweeteners and additional sugars. If drinking plain water doesn’t appeal to your taste buds, these carbonated beverages can undoubtedly assist you in meeting your daily fluid requirements.
Does Alcohol Dehydrate You?
Alcohol diuresses the body. It prevents your body from producing vasopressin, a hormone that supports healthy kidney function. Your kidneys end up excreting more liquid than usual as a result.
Dehydration may result from this, especially if alcohol is consumed on an empty stomach. If you decide to drink alcohol, pair it with foods high in water. Additionally, drink water in addition to your alcoholic beverage, with it, or as a substitute for it.
How Can I Tell If I’m Getting Enough Fluids?
Usually, your body will indicate how much water you should consume each day. But don’t only rely on thirst. Let your feces speak for itself. Constipation is a sign that you need to increase your hydration intake.
Have the sniff test and also take a peek at your pee. If it smells strongly and is dark, you probably need to drink extra fluids. However, if your urine is colorless and light yellow, you’re on the proper track.
Finally, check out your skin. Skin that is dehydrated feels tight and scratchy, and it appears dull. Additionally, you’ll see more wrinkles and fine lines as well as deeper, darker undereye circles.
Pinch your arm, belly, face, or finger knuckle gently for three seconds. Dehydration causes the skin to remain tented (or squeezed) longer than usual for the majority of people.
On the other hand, moisturized skin holds onto water. It will therefore quickly snap back into place. Its capacity to change shape and then swiftly return to normal is known as skin turgor or elasticity.
By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter
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