The amount of water that your body requires every day depends on several factors such as body weight, health condition, daily physical activity and more. It is very difficult to answer the question, how much water should you drink a day because every body type is different. You need to fulfill the minimum requirement of water in your body, but you need to know how much that is at first.
The main sources of water for your body are vegetables, fruits, and fruit juices apart from the raw fluid itself. You should consume all these in good amount along with your regular food. This will contribute to the maximum water requirement in your body. Drinking water and other beverages contribute to most of the water in your body.
Out of the total water requirement, fruits and vegetables contribute about 25% of the water. So, even if you forget to drink water at regular intervals, the daily dose of vegetables and fruits can cover up to an extent. Although maintaining exact measurements of water consumption is extremely difficult, you should at least be aware of it.
For starters, you need to know that women require 91 ounces or 2.7 liters of water every day. On the other hand, men require 125 ounces or 3.7 liters of water. The approximate measurements are claims made by The National Academy of Sciences. As per scientific claims, you need to drink 80-100 oz of water every day.
When should you drink more water?
After the problem of how much water should you drink a day is over, you need to know when you need it more. Although life is impossible without water, there are certain times when you lose body fluid. This is when you should drink more water to replenish the shortage. The following are situations when you need that extra dose of water:
- If you are suffering from a fever
- If there is excessive sweating due to heat or physical activities
- During the hot summer season
- When you are not well due to diarrhea and you are vomiting
Some quick facts about water
- As per reports, men consume more water compared to women
- Lean tissues have more water than fatty tissues
- The bodies of children and babies are made out of more water than adults. When a baby is born, it is made up of almost 78% of water. As it grows up to 1 year, the water content drops down by 10% to 13%.
Do you think you drink enough water?
A study was performed on 3,500 adults to prove how much water should you drink a day. As per the results:
- 7% of adults do not consume drinking water at all
- 36% of adults consume only 1-3 cups of water every day
- 35% of adults consume only 4-7 cups of water every day
- 22% of adults consume about 8 or more cups of water every day
People who consume at least a cup of fruits or vegetables every day are likely to drink a little less drinking water. We have already mentioned that drinking water is not the only source of water. Other beverages are also fluids that we can consume. However, drinking water is the healthiest as it contains no calories, alcohol or caffeine.
People who consume less or no drinking water are more likely to consume little or no fruits or vegetables. These people are risking their health due to fluid-deprivation. These people do consume some kind of fluid to stay alive. But such fluids that they consume are not healthy at all.
How much water should you drink a day?
Foods that are high in fluid content can contribute to a percentage of the water that the body requires. For example, soups, oranges, tomatoes, watermelons, capsicums, cucumbers, all fruits, and fruit juices. Drinking water and other beverages such as coffee, tea, alcohol count for the rest of the requirement.
Our bodies function continuously and so water is also lost from the body. We need to replenish the requirement of water by these foods and drinks. We all know that we lose water due to sweating, vomiting or urinating. However, the funny fact is that we lose water even when we are breathing.
Drinking water instead of other beverages is healthier and helps us to lose weight. There is a myth which goes by the saying that we tend to lose body fluid due to the consumption of caffeine. However, the fact is that such a release of fluid is almost negligible.
Recommendations for drinking water
As you read further, you will get to know the recommendation of how much water should you drink a day. There is a basic 8-glasses rule when we are talking about drinking water. It is a good start for sure though there is no solid proof of the minimal need.
Our bodies are made of 60% water and every single organ in the body requires water to work properly. Apart from your physical statistics, what matters is if you are breastfeeding or pregnant. These are exceptions when the measurement of water requirement in the body changes.
Now the question is how much water you should drink daily as an adult? As per the latest reports, people whose age is 19 years old and above should drink at least 130 oz of water every day. If you are a woman the requirement is 95 oz. You must fulfill this requirement along with a healthy diet including foods that contain fluids.
Similarly, how much water should you drink a day if you are still not an adult? Now, the requirement of water for kids varies according to their age. For example:
- Children should drink 4-8oz. of water daily between the ages of 4 to 8 years.
- When the child grows up a little, the requirement increases to 7-8 cups daily. This measurement is for children between 9 to 13 years
- If your child is between the ages of 14 to 18 years, the requirement is 64 to 88 oz.
Breastfeeding or pregnant lady
There are special recommendations if you are expecting a child or you are a new mother. Pregnant women require at least 80oz. of water daily. If you are a breastfeeding mother, the requirement goes up to 104oz. We suggest that you do not drink any kind of unhealthy beverages and stick to normal drinking water and recommended fruit juices. These are sensitive times in a woman’s life and extra consciousness can take you a long way.
What are the risks of not drinking enough water?
Drinking water is extremely essential but drinking excessive or very little water is risky. Now we will get to know about these risks.
We already know the reasons why our bodies lose fluids. At times, the body also releases more fluids than it normally does. There is a high chance that you may suffer from dehydration in that case. The major signs of dehydration are extreme thirst and fatigue. Be careful if you notice that you are not urinating at regular intervals. It is riskier if the urine is darker in color than it should be.
Children may experience dryness in their tongue and mouth, no tears while crying and also dry diapers over a prolonged period. Other symptoms of dehydration include confusion, shock, mood swings, kidney stones, constipation and overheating. Treatment of mild dehydration is possible at home with increased water consumption. On the other hand, if there is a problem of major dehydration, you must go to the hospital.
Just like a lack of fluid causes dehydration, excess water causes Hypernatremia. This proves that drinking excessive water is also not at all good for our health. When we drink excessive water, a dilution process of the electrolytes in our blood happens. This is when the body’s sodium level drops and hyponatremia can occur. Symptoms and signs of the syndrome include confusion, coma, headache, seizures, fatigue, muscle cramps, spasms, weakness, irritability, and nausea.
Hyponatremia is a rare syndrome. Children who are unaware of their food requirements are at a higher risk of this problem. Also, sportspeople who tend to consume more water in a short time may suffer from hyponatremia. If you are at a risk due to excessive physical activity, you should try sports drinks containing extra sodium, electrolytes, and other minerals.
What are the benefits of drinking water?
Now that you are aware of how much water should you drink a day you should also know its benefits. The following are the most important benefits of drinking water adequately:
1. Joint lubrication
The joints in our bodies along with the spine-disks have cartilages that have 80% water. If you do not drink enough water, there are high chances of dryness in these areas of the body. You will suffer from dehydration and the joints in your body will no longer be able to absorb shocks. When this happens, we have to experience severe joint pains.
2. Mucus and saliva
Saliva is one of the most important fluids for our body. It mainly helps to keep our mouth, eyes, and nose moist. Besides, saliva is extremely helpful in the digestion process of our food. It also prevents the body’s organs from damage due to friction. Drinking water helps to keep our mouths clean too. If you consume normal drinking water instead of sweetened beverages, you can prevent your teeth from decaying.
3. Delivers oxygen
If you do not drink enough water, the oxygen circulation in the body does not take place properly. To make your body, especially the respiratory system function normally, you must drink enough water.
You will suffer from dehydration if your body lacks enough water. Due to this, your skin will get damaged slowly. They become more vulnerable to wrinkling and other skin problems when you don’t enough water. The skin ultimately looks extremely dull and lacks glow. Therefore, you need to drink enough water to prevent your skin from aging quickly.
5. Acts like a cushion
There may be disruption and damage to the functioning of the brain and its structure due to problems such as dehydration. It will also affect the normal production of neurotransmitters and hormones in the body. You may face problems of analyzing and reasoning due to fluid-deprivation in your body. Water, therefore, acts as a cushion to make sure the spinal cord, brain, and other sensitive tissues function properly.
6. Regulating body temperature
There is water stored in the mid-layer if our skin. This comes out as sweat when the body heats up and dries down again when we cool down. Experts say that if we do not drink enough water, the water storage will not replenish. This means we will not be able to bear even a little heat.
7. Helps in digestion of food
Bowel also needs water to function properly. Not drinking enough water and dehydration may lead to abnormal bowels. This is a result of digestion issues such as constipation, severe acidity, and other such problems. Water-deprivation in the body also means we are at a higher risk of stomach ulcers and heartburns.
8. Cleanses the body
Sweat releases unwanted particles in our skin. Now, you can clean them only when you drink enough water. Water also helps in the proper discharge of feces and urine.
9. Blood pressure
Our blood can become thick and block our blood vessels if we do not drink an adequate amount of water. This will increase our blood pressure so we drink enough water and maintain proper blood circulation in the body.
10. Important for airways
During dehydration, our bodies restrict the airways so that there is less water release from the body. However, this activity may lead to worse problems such as allergies and asthma.
11. Nutrients and minerals
There are various nutrients and minerals in water and it reaches all the parts of our body when we drink it.
12. Healthy kidneys
The role of kidneys is to regulate the movement of fluids in our body. Lack of water may lead to kidney stones.
We drink water as a part of our habits just like we eat and sleep. We all know that life is impossible without water. It is, therefore, good to know the facts about such an important element that keeps us alive and healthy. It is also important that we drink lots of water daily to get rid of toxins and germs in the body. Now that you know how much water should you drink a day, it is time you make sure you consume more than the minimum measure.