Much neglected, much important; water is something you not neglect if you want good health. You can get problems like fatigue and headache due to dehydration. But the question is how much water is enough water. The question is simple, but the answer isn't! Studies have suggested varying recommendations over the years. The amount of water you need in a day mainly depends on many factors like- how active you are, your health, and where you live. And if you think there's a single formula that fits all, then you are highly mistaken. However, knowing more about the amount of fluid a body need each day can help you largely.
Health benefits of water
Water makes up about 60% of your body weight. It is your body's principal chemical component and your body needs water for survival. From your cells to organs, everything in your body needs water to work properly. Water helps get rid of wastes through urination, perspiration and bowel movements. It keeps your body temperature normal, lubricates and cushions joints, and protects sensitive tissues. Lack of water in the body leads to dehydration where you body cannot carry out normal functions properly. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you feel tired.
How much water do you need?
Your body needs water to function properly. You tend to lose water when you breathe, perspire, and urinate. Hence, you should replenish your body water supply by drinking water and consuming beverages and foods that contain water. But how much water you really need to keep yourself health? The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is:
About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women
About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids for men
This recommended amount can come from water, fruits, other beverages and food. About 20% of daily fluid intake usually comes from food and other drinks.
You don't need to rely only water to meet your fluid needs. The food you eat, the beverages you drink also provide a considerable portion. For example, many fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon, cantaloupe, spinach, are almost 100% water by weight. Additionally, beverages such as juice, milk, and herbal teas are composed mostly of water. However, water is your best bet as it's calorie-free, inexpensive and readily available. Sports drinks or energy drinks should be used only when you are working out intensely for more than an hour.
Your water/fluid intake is probably adequate if
- You rarely feel thirsty
- Your urine is colourless or light yellow
Consult a doctor if you are not sure about the amount of water you should have in a day. To avoid dehydration, make sure you are having
To prevent dehydration and make sure your body has the fluids it needs, make water your beverage of choice. It's also a good idea to:
- Drink water before, during and after exercise.
- Drink a glass of water or other calorie-free or low-calorie beverage with each meal and between each meal.
Although uncommon, it is also possible to drink too much water. In this condition, your kidneys can't excrete the excess water, which results in the dilution of the sodium content of your blood, which can be life-threatening. Make sure you are not over doing it and stay healthy with moderate water consumption. Also, don't forget to get a health insurance policy to stay covered when medical emergency strikes.