We all know how important water is for our lives and for our health. A person stranded on an island can survive several days without food, but he or she will surely die after a few days without water. Water is an important part of our existence because it keep us hydrated. But do you know how much water you should drink in a day?
How Much Water Should You Drink In A Day?
Though we sometimes overlook the amount of water we drink, it is important for us to know how essential it is for us to maintain our optimum well-being. The question, “How much water should I drink in a day?” is relatively mainstream. In fact, we also have a common answer: we should drink 8 glasses of water a day to maintain our hydration. But is it true? As a matter of fact, there are a lot of variations and studies conducted on the amount of water we should drink in a day. But first, we should discuss the benefits that we can get from drinking water before actually knowing the amount that is required for us to consume on a daily basis.
10 Amazing Benefits Of Drinking Water
- It hydrates you during exercise. People today are health-conscious, and they tend to have regular exercise. From athletes to normal people, water is the key that keeps them going on their exercise routines. Without water, they will feel dehydrated because they expel sweat from their body and since fluid goes out, it is just right that fluids should come in and replace that which is lost to keep the fluid balance.
- Water helps in weight loss. Some people thought that drinking lots of water will make them bloat, however, it is actually the opposite. Water helps a person lose unwanted weight. If you want to lose some weight, it is advisable that you drink water before eating a meal. This will help you feel full and will also improve your body’s metabolism. We also mistake our thirst for hunger. If this occurs, we usually eat even if it is not what our body needs. So the next time you feel a bit hungry, try drinking water first.
- It improves a person’s mood. Fascinating, right? Drinking water actually helps improve your mood. Sometimes, you become gloomy and experience bad vibes if you are thirsty and cannot get your hands on a bottle of water to help quench your thirst. It also helps you stay fresh and alert.
- Water protects you from certain types of cancer. Drinking lots of water helps fight off bladder cancer, colon cancer, and breast cancer. For the bladder cancer, it might be that water leads to frequent urination and this helps reduce carcinogen build-up in the bladder.
- It helps with hangovers. Do you love alcohol so much that it leads you to a terrible headache in the morning, and you can’t even stand up from your bed? It is because you have imbalance in your body and you are already dehydrated. So, grab that pitcher and glass, then bottoms up with water. It will surely help relieve that pounding headache.
- It gives you clearer skin. Water helps to flush out toxins from the body and helps to prevent pimples. It also helps de-clog pores since these are caused by toxins. Also, dehydration makes skin dry and wrinkled so keeping yourself hydrated will make it look better even if it can’t erase fine lines.
- Water helps to keep the heart healthy. Studies have shown that there is a significant relationship between drinking water and coronary heart disease. It has been found out that drinking water lowers the risk of coronary heart disease while drinking other fluids such as sodas and juice can increase the risk.
- Water is important for your kidneys. Aside from helping your heart, water also helps your kidneys. Blood urea nitrogen or commonly known as BUN is the primary toxin of our body and is excreted via urine. Once you drink plenty of fluids, your kidneys are cleansing and getting rid of the toxins from your body. Since you are drinking adequate fluids, you also urinate more frequently and flushes the bad toxins away.
- Acts as a lubricant for muscles and joints. Muscle is made up of 70 to 75 percent of water, hence, it is important to balance your water intake for muscle function. It also helps cushion your joints so that they will not rub against each other causing friction and pain.
- It is a natural medicine for headache. Lack of water and dehydration can cause headaches or migraines. It has been studied that drinking an average of 2 cups of water will relieve a headache within 30 minutes. If you are already having a headache because of dehydration, then 2 cups of water is not enough. You might need 2 or more cups of water for relief within 1 to 2 hours.
These benefits are just a few of the many rewards brought about by adequate water intake.
How Much Water Should I Drink A Day?
As explained earlier, drinking water varies depending on the stated factors. With these, it is important to calculate the amount of water that you need so that you will not experience fluid overload – especially for those who have medical conditions – nor dehydration if your water consumption is below the required amount.
The Institute of Medicine or IOM recommends drinking an increased volume of water compared to the previous 8 glasses rule. Given that the person is healthy and without any underlying medical conditions that restrict fluid intake, an average adult male should consume 3.7 litres or approximately 15 cups of water, while the average adult female may drink 2.7 litres which is approximately 11 cups.
If we base the calculation on a person’s weight, we are given the chance to measure the amount of water to be taken accurately. In this method, try to get your exact weight and multiply it to 2/3. The result of your computation will be the amount of water that you need to take in ounces. For example, if you weigh 155 pounds, multiply it by 2/3 and you will get the result of 104 which means that you need to consume 104 ounces (3 litres) of water in a day.
|Weight in pounds||Ounces||Liters|
|100 lbs||67 oz||1.98 L|
|110 lbs||74 oz||2.19 L|
|120 lbs||80 oz||2.37 L|
|130 lbs||87 oz||2.57 L|
|140 lbs||94 oz||2.78 L|
|150 lbs||100 oz||2.96 L|
|160 lbs||107 oz||3.16 L|
|170 lbs||114 oz||3.37 L|
|180 lbs||121 oz||3.58 L|
|190 lbs||127 oz||3.76 L|
|200 lbs||134 oz||3.96 L|
|210 lbs||141 oz||4.16 L|
|220 lbs||148 oz||4.37 L|
|230 lbs||154 oz||4.55 L|
|240 lbs||161 oz||4.76 L|
|250 lbs||168 oz||4.97 L|
If you have already determined the amount of water that you should take base on your weight, you may proceed by checking your activity level and see if you are sweating or not. If you are working out, you should add 12 ounces of water for every 30 minutes that you are sweating. For example, if you weigh 155 lbs and sweat 2 hours a day, you need to consume 152 ounces (4.55 L) of water.
5 Factors That Affect Your Everyday Water Consumption
Most of the benefits stated above show different situations, from exercising to dehydration to hangovers. In this case, we know that not all people are exercising nor suffer from dehydration nor have hangovers. This is a clear sign that not all people are the same. Hence, their water intake also differs from each other.
Though we have always been taught to drink 8 glasses of water a day, that notion is already changing now as people engage in more activities and different lifestyles. It may be important to reach that 8 glasses a day requirement as the least amount of consumption per day, but it should always suit your lifestyle and condition which can sometimes require less.
1. Medical Conditions
For normal people, drinking at least 8 glasses a day is the key to maintain the optimum level of well-being. However, there are certain medical conditions that require patients to follow a fluid restriction diet. Although I earlier stated that water intake helps in kidneys and heart diseases, fluid is restricted if symptoms already include fluid overload in the body.
Other conditions which restrict fluid intake are adrenal gland disorders, endocrine system disorders, conditions that releases stress hormones, low sodium levels or hyponatremia, as well as taking corticosteroids medications and Steroids. In this case, water intake is closely monitored and it helps when you already plan how much water should you take every hour or every meal depending on your doctor’s orders.
Lifestyle is also an important factor in knowing how much water you should drink. If you are a person with a very active lifestyle with field work that causes you to sweat and excrete fluid, you must take more than 8 glasses of water to replace the fluids that you have lost.
If on the other hand you live quite a sedentary lifestyle such as working on an office desk job where you are just sitting and the working environment is cool without any means of sweating, then you might want to restrict your fluid intake because it will just build up in your kidney and may cause edema.
Moreover, if you do regular exercise, you need to increase your water intake more than the minimum requirement of 8 glasses because you are excreting fluids from your body. If you continue to exercise without drinking water, you might suffer from dehydration.
Water consumption during summer is very different from water consumption during winter. Due to the heat brought about by the summer season, it is inevitable that people gets thirsty a lot more and they crave drinking water to help quench their thirst. During summer, dehydration is also common, hence, adequate fluid intake should be done to ensure good health. During rainy season, there is usually a decrease on the level of water intake because of the cold.
4. Geographic Location
People from the United States of America require a different amount of water volume compared to those living in Africa. Drinking water is affected by where the person lives because of the climate of a certain place. If you live in a place that is hot, water intake may be increased because of the risk of dehydration compared to those places with a normal temperature.
5. Weight And Gender
Normally, weight and gender are also important factors to be considered when drinking water. The bigger you are, the more water you need. The male population also requires more amount of water compared to their female counterparts.
With these factors and a lot more in mind, let’s go back to the question we raised awhile ago.
How To Drink The Necessary Amount Of Water Requirement?
The numbers might be too crazy, right? You might think that you can’t finish up drinking the amount required because it is too overwhelming to consume in one day. The trick to that is to have your daily water schedule where you get to drink water at several times a day to ensure that you meet your desired requirements.
See to it that you drink 16 ounces of water upon waking up and another 8 ounces before going to sleep at night. This will already constitute 24 ounces of your daily requirement. It is also advisable to drink a glass or two of water 30 minutes before any meals as this will help in metabolism as well as gives you the feeling of fullness and makes you eat less, aiding in the weight loss process. With these, you have now consumed approximately 7-8 glasses of your requirement.
You may divide the other amount in between breaks or work-outs along the day to ensure that you consume your water requirement and prevent dehydration.
Water is really important and helps a lot in our health. Hence, it is recommended that you drink more water compared to sodas and juices because water is indeed the healthiest drink available.