Water is the basis of life and something we rely on for living. Staying hydrated and drinking more water is something everyone resolves to do, and some even make it a part of their new year’s resolution, but most give up only after a few days. Why is there so much emphasis on drinking a lot of water? Well, it has a number of health benefits. This is why people worry so much about how much water they need to drink each day and then stick to a schedule to drink the amount of water they need.
Health Benefits of Drinking Water
The importance of water for our health cannot be understated. It is essential due to a number of reasons which is the exact reason why it is so important to drink enough water. 60 percent of our body is composed of water, which is why the functioning of all components depends on it. Water flushes toxins out of our vital organs and is a means of carrying nutrients to body parts. This is also why when you get dehydrated our functioning is affected as well. Your brain does not function properly, your energy drains out, and you end up feeling tired and weak.
Drinking a lot of water can help combat a number of health conditions as well, such as:
Cancer: Some studies suggest that drinking lots of water eliminates or decreases chances of getting some cancers such as bladder and colorectal cancer.
Constipation: This very common problem can be eliminated by drinking lots of water.
Kidney Stones: The risk of getting kidney stones can be decreased by remaining hydrated.
Skin Problems: An easy and common remedy for acne is drinking a lot of water. This hydrates your skin and replenishes the nutrients it needs reducing your acne in the process.
So to remain healthy and as a result happy, you have to drink a lot of water and today we will be discussing how much do you need to drink it and how can you do it.
How Much Water Do We Need Per Day?
There are several theories regarding how much water one should drink in a day to be healthy and to stay perfectly hydrated. Although no formula perfectly fits everyone because every individual has different needs, they still help us stay on top of our water game. Some of these are:
The 8x8 rule: Most health authorities advise you to drink eight 8-ounces glasses of water every day to be healthy. This rounds up to around two liters or half a gallon of water a day. You might be surprised to know that this common myth is in fact not entirely accurate and is not based on any scientific fact. The water intake depends on each individual. It remains popular because it is easy to remember and to follow.
Water intake based on gender: According to this theory, for average adults, men should drink 3 liters of water every day which is almost 13 cups, while women should drink 2.2 liters which is about 9 cups of water. The Institute of Medicine supports this theory.
Calculations based on weight: This is for those of you that value precision. The theory suggests calculation of water intake based on your weight and activity level. First of all, take your weight in pounds, multiply the given number by ⅔ or 67 percent and that will give you the number of ounces of water. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, then you need 100 ounces of water per day. Next step is to consider how active you are daily. For every extra 30 minutes you work out or perform any physical activity daily you should add 12 ounces of water to your daily intake.
How Much Water Should You Drink In a Day?
Although the theories above are pretty good, they are generic. Every individual has different water needs, and they all vary based on a number of factors such as your health condition, age, gender, weight, activity level, weather condition, etc. To give a deeper insight on how much water you should be drinking in a day we will be discussing these factors with you in detail.
Health condition: Your body loses fluids in illnesses like fever, vomiting, and diarrhea, so you need to drink up. Certain conditions like urinary tract stones or bladder infections also need more water intake. However, there are some situations where you need to limit your water drinking. These include conditions such as heart failure, and some kidney and liver illnesses.
Activity level: When you indulge in any kind of physical activity you sweat. To make up for the excess fluid loss, you have to drink extra water. While an extra cup or two of water is enough for a short activity, intense exercises require you to drink more. You can even use sports drinks containing sodium to reduce chances of hypernatremia. Water intake depends on the intensity of the activity.
Weather condition: If you live somewhere with hot or humid weather, you are going to require more water. The heat in the air dries you up. Places with altitudes greater than 2500 meters cause rapid breathing and increased urination. Since this uses up your fluid reservoirs, you have to compensate by drinking more.
Pregnancy or Breastfeeding: As expected during pregnancy or if you are breastfeeding currently you need to drink more and more water. Especially when you are breastfeeding since so much fluid is leaving your body. Studies show that pregnant women have to drink around 2.3 liters of water daily while those who are breastfeeding currently have to drink 13 cups which roughly amounts to 3 liters to stay completely hydrated.
If you want to calculate how much water you should drink based on different aspects, then you can just opt for an online hydration calculator such as CamelBak. It calculates the amount of water you should be drinking daily based on a number of things such as your age, height, weight, gender, weather conditions, physical activity, the amount you sweat, etc. This guarantees maximum precision.
Tips for Staying Hydrated
Knowing how much water you need to drink is one thing and actually following that in drinking it is another. This is something most people fail at and struggle with. If you are someone like this and want to know how to keep up with staying hydrated then here are some tips that can help you:
Look at the signs: As ominous as this tip sounds it isn’t. Look at signs your body shows when you are dehydrated. Peek inside your toilet and look at the color of urine. The darker and smellier it is, the more you should be running around drinking water.
You can drink other beverages as well: Although water should be your main source of staying hydrated, if you are not really keen on drinking a lot of water every two minutes, you can substitute it with caffeinated beverages such as coffee and tea as well.
Avoid sugary drinks: They cause weight gain and can lead to inflammation. So don't consider them a way of getting hydrated since they have adverse side effects.
Opt for fruit and vegetables: Fruits and vegetables that are high in their water contents are also a great and fun way of getting hydrated. Fruits like watermelon, grapefruit, strawberries and oranges are high in water contents. Similarly, vegetables like cucumber, celery, and lettuce are great for hydration as well.
Drink water before meals: Not only is it an excellent way of getting closer towards your required daily water intake, but studies show that drinking water before meals also helps in losing those extra pounds. Other than that it has a number of health benefits as well.
Drink water before, during and after exercise: When you exercise you are going to sweat which means you will lose fluids, so you naturally have to drink more water. But this can also be a great way of keeping to a timetable of drinking water. You can take a water bottle with you and make it your goal to finish it by the time you finish with your work out.