I can often hear people asking ‘How much water should I drink a day’ or ‘What is the ideal water intake for a human body?’ I ask them, Are you aware how much of our body is water? Some of them know the exact answer n say 60% and perhaps, that’s all what they know.
Do you know why at all drinking water is so important?
Let me tell you why that is so. Water composes a large percentage of many of the vital organs of a human body. It makes up 83% of your blood and 75% of your muscles. It composes 75% of your brain and 22% of your bones. Not only this, it controls your body temperature, removes wastes by flushing out the toxins from your body, supports your body joints, helps move oxygen and necessary nutrients to your cells, moistens oxygen for breathing, helps convert food to energy, protects your body organs and provides a damp environment for nose, ear and throat tissues.Water is great for your skin also and good for your diet too.
How Much Water Should You Drink A Day?
Now the question is when it is so crucial to drink water, what exactly is the exact quantity? , How much water to drink in a day? The simpler the question, the more variable the answer is. Yes, it varies from individual to individual as to how much water to drink per day. There are many different opinions to this. Although no single formula fits everyone, the health authorities commonly recommend eight 8-ounce glasses per day, which equals approx. 2 liters. Water is essential for a healthy living. Lack of water can lead to dehydration. Knowing more about your body’s requirements for fluids will help you have a clear estimate about the amount of water to drink each day.While plain water can be a healthy choice without any extra sugar or calories, other fluids can be a mix. Even there are certain foods like watermelon, spinach, strawberry, kiwi, soup etc. that can make you eat your water. There are many fruits and vegetables, which are 90% or more water by weight. They provide the body with required water to meet up the adequate fluid need per day. In addition, drinks such as milk and juice are too composed mostly of water.
Your water requirements depend on a number of factors that include but not limited to, your size and weight, your health conditions or illness, your involvement in various physical activities/sports, your lifestyle and also to an extent the climate you are living in. Let’s have a look at each of them in details.
The factors deciding how much water should you drink in a day:
- Size:The water requirements greatly vary in an adult and a child. For example, an adult can live maximum up to 3 days without water while, a child cannot even survive 24 hours without it.
- Weight: In general, try drinking somewhere between half an ounce and an ounce of water for each pound you weigh, daily. For example, if you weigh 130lbs., your ideal water intake should be somewhere in the range of 65 to 130 ounce per day.
- Physical Activity/ Simple Exercise:If you are engaged in any physical activity that makes you sweat, like exercising, etc., extra water is needed by the body to make up to the fluid loss during the activity. How much additional fluid you need to drink, that depends on how much you sweat during the activity.
- Intense Exercise: If you are involved in intense exercise, much more sodium is lost from the body in the form of sweat. In such a case, it is recommended to have a sports drink that contains sodium. Also, replace your fluid loss by drinking more water after you’re finished exercising.
- Environment: If the climate is hot or humid, it is bound to make you sweat more thereby requiring additional intake of fluid.
- Lifestyle: A person’s lifestyle plays an important role in deciding the amount of water he should consume. For example, the ones spending most of their hours in an air conditioned place would require less consumption of water in comparison to the one who is out in summers for sale.
- Illnesses or health conditions: In case of vomiting or diarrhea, you lose extra fluid from your body. In these cases, you should drink more water. You may be asked to increase your fluid intake in case of certain health conditions, like bladder infections or stones in the urinary tract. On the other hand, there are some health conditions, such as heart failure and some types of kidney diseases that may even require that you limit your fluid intake.
- Pregnancy or breast-feeding: Pregnant ladies or breast-feeding mothers need additional fluids to stay hydrated.A daily intake of about 2.3 liters of fluids daily is recommended during pregnancy while a breast-feeding mother should consume about 3.1 liters of fluids a day.
The Benefits of Drinking Water:
Drinking water is beneficial for the body in numerous ways. Some of the positive effects of drinking water are:
- Maintain the Balance of Body Fluids:A person normally loses two liters of water a day, through urine, perspiration, breath and defecation. Drinking enough water maintains the balance of fluids in and out of the body.
- Can help Control Calories:There are many assertions of drinking water having an effect on body weight. Drinking enough water can increase metabolism and reduce appetite, thus helps in reducing and controlling calories.
- Lowers the Stress: It has been researched that drinking enough helps lower the stress.
- Increase Energy Levels and Improve Brain Function:It has been reported by a majority of people that their energy levels and brain functions start suffering if they don’t stay hydrated throughout the day. In some cases, even the mildest of the can have negative effects on the performance, both physical and mental.
- Helps maintain Normal Bowel Function: Drinking enough water maintains an adequate amount of fluid into the body thus, allows the normal functioning of the bowel movements.
- Tonic for your Skin: Water acts as a tonic to your skin.It is nature’s own beauty cream. Your skin is 60% water and drinking more water brings glow to your skin making it seem age-less with less acne problems and increased blood flow to the skin.
- Prevents Pain: Even a little water can help prevent pain caused by aching joints, leg cramps and strains which can occur in the body of it is dehydrated.
- Fatigue Buster:One of the most common symptoms of dehydration is fatigue.Drinking enough water a day can help you prevent dehydration and in turn fight fatigue.If you are feeling drained, just have some water. It helps your heart pump your blood more effectively.
Does drinking more than the required amount of water helps?
No, not always. It is said “Excess of everything is bad” and even water is not untouched by this.
At times, drinking more than what your thirst signals can be dangerous for your health. Want to have a look as to how? Let’s see:
The Ill – Effects of Drinking Excess Water:
- Excessive Sweating:If you drink water in excess to your body requirements, sweating is one of the ways the body will try to shed off the excess water. In such scenarios, drinking more water can make your sweating worsen – strange, but true.
- Insomnia:Drinking excessive amounts of water, particularly during after the evening, can disrupt sleep too leading to Insomnia. It may also urge the need to urinate often that again doesn’t let you sleep properly and due to frequent awakenings, it become difficult to get back to sleep again.
- Water Intoxication: The excess water intake can flood your kidney by large quantities of water, which makes it difficult for the kidneys to efficiently process the liquid. The sodium levels get unable to balance the excessive water and ultimately can result in swelling cells and in some cases, even death.
You must be wondering, as to how should you know how much water is less, appropriate or excess for my body? The answer is just quench your thirst. If are drinking in major deviation to the typical thumb rule of 8 eight ounce glasses, just check on your thirst and go for what it signals you.
The Negative Effects of Drinking Less Water:
- Bladder or Kidney problems:Water is very important for the proper functioning of your kidneys and for the filtration process they do. When you don’t drink enough water, calcium and other minerals gets accumulated in your urine and becomes rigid to get filtered out from your body. These minerals in their harder state can turn into crystals that make up kidney and urinary stones. Remember, these kidney stones can’t be formed in diluted urine, so reduce your risk of stones with drinking plenty of the water.
- Digestive Disorders:Less water intake can adversely affect your digestive system and can cause health issues, like constipation, etc. Generally, if you don’t drink enough fluid your urine will reflect your dehydrated state. It would be darker in color and will carry much strong odor.
- High Cholesterol: When the body is more dehydrated, it will produce more cholesterol so as to stop the loss of water from the cells.
- Skin Disorders: Dehydration eliminates toxins through the skin and makes it more prone to all types of skin disorders.
- Asthma & Allergies: When dehydrated, your airways will be restricted as a means to conserve water, thus making it more prone to asthma & allergies.
- High Blood Pressure: The blood is normally 83% of water when the body is has adequately hydrated. When the body has water less than the required quantity, the blood becomes thicker restricting its smooth flow and resulting in increased blood pressure.
- Arthritis:Drinking less water a day can cause less lubrication of the joints of the body, thus resulting into greater amount of friction to the extent that they begin to degenerate quickly leading to arthritis.
- Bad Breath: A bad breath is not something that only affects the bearer but it also affects the people surrounding him. Drinking less water can be a major cause for chronic bad breath.
How can you make sure you drink more water in a day?
Try these tips:
- Set up a specific goal for you in terms of the how much water to drink per day.
- Always carry an insulated sports bottle with you and fill it up periodically.
- Keep a glass of water on your desk at work.
- Keep another glass on your side table. It is common to feel dehydrated in the morning.
- Switch one glass of soda or cup of coffee for a glass of water.
- Drink small amounts of water throughout the day. Eight glasses all at once isn’t good for you.
- Set up a timer and create mental alerts.
- Eat you water in the form of those fruits and veggies that have the highest water content.
The Right Time to Drink Water:
To maximize reaping the benefits of Water, Drink water at the right time. This will not only increase its effectiveness on the human body but will also help providing immediate health benefits.Drinking 2 glasses of fresh water once you wake up can rehydrate you and makes you feel fresh and energetic. In comparison to other times of the day, if you drink sufficient water in the morning, you’ll definite be enjoying overall better health benefits. If 2 glasses feel like too much , just drink 1 but make sure that it is the first thing in the morning that your drink.
- Drinking a glass of water ½ hour before your meal helps in keeping you full and subside hunger thus, prevent eating more. It also helps digestion.
- Drinking a glass of water before taking a bath helps lower the blood pressure.
- Drinking water just before bedtime avoids stroke or heart attack.
- Drink small amounts of water the whole day.
- Avoid drinking water just before or after a meal so as to avoid diluting your stomach acid.