Water makes up about 60 percent of the human body, and without enough of it, dehydration can set in, causing dry mouth, tiredness, and headaches. Getting the right amount fluids daily could be the difference between feeling drained and running like a well-oiled machine.
To stay hydrated, it’s essential to replace the water our body, as we are constantly losing water by breathing, perspiring, and using the bathroom. We use H2O to flush toxins, carry nutrients around the body, and protect sensitive tissue, like the nose and mouth. For adult males, that means about 3.7 litres of fluids per day (nearly 16 cups), while ladies need roughly 2.7 litres (or 11 cups) per day.
But not all fluids need to come from water or even liquids. Everything from milk to fruit juice and even coffee, tea, and soda water can contribute to our daily fluid intake, though water is still the best bet for avoiding excess calories. On average, food also provides about 20 percent of our daily fluid intake, but it can account for more if we reach for water-rich foods like fruits and vegetables – oranges, lettuce, celery etc.
So taking into account that 20 percent from food, men still need to drink 3 litres (about 13 cups) of fluids daily, and women need 2.2 litres (about 9 cups) .
But not everyone’s hydration needs are the same. Age, climate, activity level, and illness can all effect daily needs—and how much we’re each affected by those factors varies too. Studies show thirst may be a better guideline than numbers, since most of us get plenty of water just by letting our mouths be our guide. And there’s no need to overdo it. Drinking more water than we need doesn’t necessarily have any added benefits (unless frequent runs to the bathroom could be considered a benefit).
But don’t be fooled into thinking only hot temperatures require upping the water intake. When the weather outside is frightful, all those layers can cause sweating, and dry, heated indoor air can sap skin of moisture. When in doubt, urine colour can be a good indicator of whether the body’s getting enough water. When well hydrated, urine should be light yellow or colour-less.
BUT drinking too much water can be as much of a problem as not drinking enough. Nearly all the major systems of your body depend on water to work properly. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day aids in regulating body temperature, preventing constipation, flushing waste products out of the body, and many other important functions.
Most people, especially those who exercise in hot weather, are more concerned about not drinking enough water. However, overhydrating—or drinking too much water—is also a potentially deadly condition, one that can throw off the balance between water and sodium in your blood.
Many stories have been shared stating that when the correct amount of water had been consumed over a 28 day period, major changes occurred. For example in the news currently a woman has claimed that drinking water has made her look 10 years younger and lose weight. Will this make you drink the required amount or will the effort of running to the little girls room put you off?