How much water do you drink every day? It seems to be a simple and ordinary question, but it’s in fact a very important one.
Doesn’t it make you wonder if the amount of water you drink daily is sufficient or not?
Most of us don’t really know how much water we should be drinking. Or even if we do know, are we really having that much water daily?
Quite recently, my younger daughter started losing hair on a portion of her head. We took her to the doctor, a trichologist, who asked her how much water was she drinking.
This one question helped me discover the reasons behind my daughter’s misery if hair loss.
Well, it turned out that she was hardly drinking enough water. She used to hardly have about 3-4 glasses per day, and sometimes not even that much!
The doctor told us certain things that I didn’t know before, and thought it best to share it with all of you.
“Water, taken in moderation, cannot hurt anybody.” ~ Mark Twain
How Much Water Do We Need
You all know that water is one of our lifelines – it’s not just a worthless, colorless, and odorless liquid.
Various studies show varying recommendations, but the reality is that the requirement of water for your body depends on many factors. This includes how active you are, your health, and where you live.
Daily you lose water through your breath, urine, bowel movements, and perspiration.
For your body to function normally, you need to replenish the water supply by consuming foods and beverages that contain water.
According to the Institute of Medicine, a healthy adult living in a temperate climate needs roughly 3 liters of total beverages a day. The adequate intake for women is 2.2 liters of total beverages daily.
Just remember to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of fluids daily.
Did you know that water makes up nearly 60% of your body weight? Also, did you know that every system in your body depends on water?
Benefits of Water
Water is essentially a provider of minerals to our body. Our body has limited ability to absorb minerals solely through foods, thus water does rest of the work.
My daughter’s hair analysis showed they lacked minerals, which was one of the causes for her hair fall.
Here are a few other reasons why water is necessary and why its intake should be sufficient.
- It carries nutrients to your cells
- It flushes toxins out of the vital organs.
- It helps to regulate temperature.
- It provides a medium for biological reactions to take place in the body.
- It provides a moist environment for the ear, nose, and throat tissues.
Lack of water can lead to dehydration that can make you tired because it drains your energy.
This could result in headaches, loss of concentration or memory problem, and mood problems. Or even constipation and kidney stones.
“If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.” ~ Loran Eisley
Factors of How Much Water You Need
The following might increase the need for fluid requirement in your body:
1- If the environment isn’t favorable and high altitude
Hot and humid weather can make you sweat, and you would need additional fluid. Your skin can lose moisture during wintertime in heated indoors.
Even high altitude triggers rapid breathing and increased urination, which use more of your fluid reserves.
2- If there is increased physical activity
If you exercise or walk briskly in such a way that it makes you sweat, you need to drink extra water to compensate for the loss of fluid.
If you don’t know how much water to use at such times, just remember that 1.5 to 2.5 cups of water would suffice for short bouts of exercise.
You would need more water for longer periods of exercises. Most people use a sport drink that contains sodium. This helps replace the lost sodium in sweat, and continues to replace fluids after you end exercising.
3- If you have an illness or other health conditions
When you have diarrhea, fever, or vomiting, your body loses fluids. At such times you need to drink more water.
Similarly, if you develop certain conditions like some type of adrenal, kidney, and liver disease, or heart failure – it might impair the excretion of water. It may even require that you limit your fluid intake.
4- If you are pregnant or breast-feeding
Such women need more fluids to stay hydrated because lots of fluid is used while nursing.
The Institute of Medicine recommends that pregnant women should drink 2.3 liters of fluids every day. Similarly, women who breast-feed should consume 3.1 liters of fluids daily.
So, how much water you really need depends a lot on the above conditions, beside other factors.
Drinking water is the best way to replace lost fluids in the body. However, other liquids that are also effective are milk, tea, fruit juice, soup, and sports drinks.
On an average, you get 20% of your total water intake even from the food you consume. Many fruits and vegetables like tomatoes and watermelons are 90% or more water by weight.
I just wish my daughter starts having more of fruits, vegetables and water as well. That’s because the doctor mentioned that she lacked minerals in her diet.
Hope all of you are careful about how much water you drink daily!
“We never know the worth of water till the well is dry.” ~ Thomas Fuller
Quick Tips to Maintain Fluid Levels
If you don’t know how much water to take daily, or how you need to maintain fluid levels, try the following tips:
- Start your day with a glass of water when you wake up. Thereafter have 3-4 glass of water within the next hour.
- Keep a bottle of water near you all the time and keep sipping through it regularly.
- Have a glass of water before and after every meal.
- Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables because they have high water content.
However, be careful that you don’t drink too much of water because even that has its side effects that can harm you.
Hey! Let’s take a poll on how much water do YOU drink every day.
Over to you –
Do you drink enough water daily? Have you faced any problems when you don’t have the required amount of water daily? How much water do you think we need every day? Share your views below.
Photo Credit: Freedigitalphotos
Posted on: November 16th, 2012
Last Updated on: January 9th, 2013