Are you wondering about how much water to drink a day?
- It seems that when it comes to drinking water, 8 glasses a day is the go-to standard!
You may know by now how important is water for health and you may have read about the amazing benefits of drinking water.
But how much water do you really need, and how much is too much?
How much water to drink a day…
8 Glasses a day: Myth or Reality?
The fact is that there is no standard for this. The necessary quantity of drinking water depends on your age, weight, environmental conditions, and the activities you participate in.
Various medical gurus like the National Institute of Health (NIH), and Dr. Batmanghelidi all agree:
A mature person doing average activities and living in a temperate climate uses the equivalent of about 10 to 15 cups of water a day for their essential body functions like: breathing, brain activity, blood circulation, digestion, locomotion, perspiration and elimination.
For daily drinking water needs, the NIH recommends about 13 cups for men, and 9 for women.
Water vs. Fluids
Many online medical authorities count the water present in your food and in other fluids as part of your daily quota!
Does water contained in food really counts for the daily hydration?
Generally speaking, yes, water constitutes a significant portion of the food we eat. That does count towards the the total quantity of the daily water intake.
Not all foods and beverages are made equal
- Fruit and vegetables contain more water than meats
- Proteins, fats and sugars need more water to be metabolized, so you will actually need to drink extra water to help the process. French nutritionists actually recommend a glass of red wine with heavy foods.
- Cooked food like stews and soups contain a fair amount of water. On the other hand, fried foods contain very little or no water at all.
- Artificial food is even more dangerous causing big health concerns. The type of fast and processed food is loaded with chemicals, artificial flavors and colors. By eating these toxic foods your body will need to drink more water to process the food and eliminate the toxins.
Drinking water vs. other fluids
As I described in the benefits of drinking water page, the metabolic functions of the body depends strictly on pure water. Other fluids, including soft drinks, contain chemicals that can affect the body’s chemistry with unwanted consequences.
All beverages containing caffeine are diuretic – after you drink them, you will eliminate more liquid than you received.
Children in particular should avoid using these kind of fluids as a water substitute, as it can lead to child dehydration.
How much water to drink under special conditions
There are cases when people need an increased quantity of water.
- Drinking water is a must if you are constipated
– 1 or 2 glasses of water first thing in the morning will be very effective in eliminating wastes from the body
- Elder people need to drink more water
With age the thirst sensation gets weaker, and the shortage of water over time can translate into health problems, such as circulatory and heart problems, increased blood pressure, arthritis and kidney stones.
- Pregnant women and women who are breast-feeding need to drink more water to supply the liquid needed by the growing fetus
- Children Need To Drink More Water than Adults
– Children must avoid dehydration which can affect their overall health and growth!
Is Drinking Too Much Water a Problem?
Some people, especially the elderly, tend to avoid hydration because they are afraid this will result in mineral loss. They are not far from being right.
Over-hydration can unbalance the electrolytes in the body over the safe limit. In order to prevent eventual over-hydration you have to make sure you supply your body with the needed minerals from food or supplements, including some salt.
If you are doing endurance sports or strenuous exercises, acute dehydration may occur. In this case, drinking water is not advised, because it can shock the body. Water should be substituted with some sport drinks, which will replace the electrolytes you lose when sweating.
I think you got the idea of how much water to drink – Do you know how to make yourself drinking enough water? Here are some tips on how to stay hydrated