How much water is enough?
The amount of water a person needs is different for everyone.
You’ve heard the saying “If you get thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.” That’s because thirst isn’t the best indicator that you need to drink. A person who is active and perspires heavily will need to drink more than someone who doesn’t. How will you know if you are hydrated? A good indicator of dehydration is color of your urine. Pale and clear means you’re well hydrated, dark or amber color means drink more fluids.
Water is best.
Drinking water before you exercise or go out into the sun is an important first step. For most people, water is best for keeping your body hydrated, and it has zero calories. Foods, such as fruits and vegetables also contain a high percentage of water. If you are exercising vigorously or in very hot weather, sports drinks with electrolytes, may be useful although they tend to be high in added sugars and calories. Be sure to read the bottle or can and choose a lower sugar or zero sugar sport drink if you want the electrolytes that are not found in water.
Your body depends on water to survive. Every cell, tissue, and organ in your body needs water to work properly. Proper hydration does more than just quench your thirst. It has numerous benefits for your health.
- Water is the main component of blood, which supplies cells with oxygen and nutrients and carries waste out of the body.
- Water regulates internal body temperature.
- Water lubricates joints.
- Water cushions vital organs.
There are differing opinions about the amount each of us need to drink. MayoClinic.org references the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine who have determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is about 15.5 cups of fluid/day for men and 11.5 cups of fluid/day for women. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/water/art-20044256
On the other hand, Healthline.com and The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends that men drink at least 101 ounces of water per day, which is a little under 13 cups. They
say women should drink at least 74 ounces, which is a little over 9 cups. https://www.healthline.com/health/how-much-water-should-I-drink
The bottom line is, every body’s needs are different and you need to find a healthy level of hydration for yourself. If we don’t get enough water, our body becomes dehydrated. And dehydration can lead to everything from minor problems such as swollen feet or headache to potentially deadly conditions such as heat stroke. Stop what you’re doing now and have glass of water. You’ll be glad you did!