How much water should I drink per day?
Drinking water is crucial for survival. It’s necessary for all living organisms to stay hydrated. But is it really necessary to drink the frequently suggested 8 glasses of water each day? What are the real advantages of consuming water?
We will clarify the reality regarding the amount of water you require and how to determine if you’re consuming sufficient enough.
What are the advantages of consuming water?
The human body contains approximately 60% water. It is a vital nutrient that your body relies on for its proper functioning. Indeed, survival without water is impossible beyond a few days.
What are the benefits of drinking water?
- Maintaining body temperature.
- Keeping your mouth hygienic
- Lubricating your joints and safeguarding delicate tissues
- Eliminating detrimental wastes via urine, perspiration, and feces
- Delivering nutrients to organs through your bloodstream
Is it truly necessary to drink 8 glasses of water daily?
No, there is no evidence to support that you should drink 8 glasses — or 2 liters — of daily water intake. Studies have discovered that the majority of individuals receive sufficient water from their daily food and drink consumption.
Every beverage, such as tea, coffee, juice, and soda, includes water. For the majority of individuals, these drinks combined with regular water account for 70% to 80% of their overall fluid consumption.
Most people derive the remaining 20% to 30% of their total fluid intake from food. These foods include fruits and vegetables.
What is the daily recommended intake?
There isn’t a concrete answer to how much water you should be drinking. It will vary for everyone. However, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies determined:
- Men who are properly hydrated consume approximately 3.7 liters (125 ounces) each day.
- Women who are properly hydrated consume approximately 2.7 liters (91 ounces) each day.
However, some people may need to drink more water than others. This depends on several factors:
- Weight: Individuals in larger bodies may require more fluid, since over two-thirds of the adult body holds water. If you are looking for a rough calculation, take your weight in pounds and divide that number in half. That is about how many ounces of water you should drink each day. So a person who weighs 200 lbs should drink about 100 ounces — or 3 liters — per day.
- If you live in a hot or dry area, you might have to drink extra. This is because you lose fluids through sweating. You may also need to drink more during hotter months of the year.
- Activity level: If you are physically active, increase your fluid intake to stay hydrated. This is especially true if you’re working out in hot weather or high altitudes. Your body loses water during exercise, even if you don’t sweat a lot.
- Health: Some health conditions can increase your fluid loss. Some common examples include increased blood sugar, high body temperature, urinary tract infections, and digestive issues that cause vomiting or diarrhea.
- These symptoms can occur in various situations. Increased blood sugar levels can be a sign of diabetes or other medical conditions. High body temperature can indicate a fever or infection.
- Urinary tract infections are common and can cause discomfort and pain. Different things, like food poisoning or infections in the stomach, can cause vomiting or diarrhea.
For most people, their normal drinking and eating patterns help them meet their body’s water needs. This means if you drink fluids when you get thirsty, you’re probably getting enough water. Unless your healthcare provider tells you otherwise, you most likely don’t need to worry about your water intake.
How much water should older adults drink?
Older adults should aim to drink an adequate amount of water to stay hydrated. While there isn’t a specific recommendation for older adults.
How you know if you are getting enough water
An uncomplicated method to determine if you’re adequately hydrated is by examining the hue of your urine. Generally, urine should be transparent or light yellow. Dark yellow, brown, or amber urine means you should drink more.
Not drinking enough can cause dehydration, when the body lacks enough water to function properly. You can typically handle mild-to-moderate dehydration by simply increasing your intake.
Symptoms of mild-to-moderate dehydration are your body’s method of signaling that you require more water. These signs include:
- Urine that is dark or has a strong odor
- Mouth that feels dry
- Feeling of thirst
- Experiencing headaches
- Urinating less often
- Cramps in the muscles
Occasionally, you may be in a situation where you aren’t able to retain enough water to rehydrate yourself adequately. Usually, this is because you can’t drink or eat enough to meet your body’s needs.
For instance, you might have a pre-existing health issue that hinders your ability to consume sufficient water. These are usually conditions that impact your:
- Brain (such as dementia)
- Oral issues (such as inflammation or oral cancer)
- Difficulty in swallowing (such as a stroke)
There’s also a risk of losing more water than you can replace by drinking. This might happen if you’re dealing with a serious infection that results in high fever, uncontrollable vomiting, or diarrhea. It might also happen if you have a medical condition or are taking medication that causes frequent urination.
Your doctor may give you liquid medicine to take or put fluids directly into your vein, depending on what you need. Rehydration solutions restore both water and essential electrolytes such as sodium and potassium.
Can you drink too much water?
Although rare, it is possible to drink too much. Excessive hydration can result in a medical condition known as hyponatremia.
- This occurs when the body lacks sufficient sodium — a crucial electrolyte for managing fluids. Consequently, fluid makes the body’s cells, including those in the brain, to expand. This condition can trigger hazardous symptoms, including:Changes to your mental state, like confusion or irritability
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle cramps or weakness
Typically, overhydration occurs with:
- Athletes who attempt to prevent dehydration by drinking too much during strenuous activity
- Individuals suffering from ailments like heart failure and kidney disease, which result in their body retaining water
- Individuals with pre-existing health issues that trigger abnormal thirst, compelling them to drink high quantities of water
Drinking too much water quickly can cause hyponatremia. This can happen even if a person is healthy and doesn’t have any other conditions.
What is too much water?
There isn’t a defined limit to how much is excessive. If you consume a large quantities, consult your physician. Together, you can determine the appropriate daily fluid intake to maintain hydration.
The majority of individuals maintain sufficient hydration by drinking according to their thirst. Rather than keeping track of your water intake, pay attention to your body’s signals. If you have a medical condition or worry about inadequate water consumption, seek guidance from your physician.
While various drinks and foods can provide water, consuming it in its pure form is the healthiest method of hydration. Keep in mind that every part of the body benefits from water, and it’s uncommon to over drink it.
The information shown here is only for information purposes. Doctors and nurses don’t want this information to replace a diagnosis, advice, or treatment. If you have questions about a medical condition, please ask a qualified medical professional. Do not ignore, disregard, or delay seeking medical advice or treatment based on what you have seen on this website.