Is 8 Glasses A Day Enough
So how much water should you drink in a day? Weve all heard that 8 glasses is the ideal. But theres no scientific evidence that drinking 8 glasses of water is necessary.
To determine how much water you need, Dr. Sukol suggests considering these four factors:
- Activity level. If you work out a lot or are moving all day long, drink more water.
- Location. If you find yourself in a warmer climate or at higher altitudes, youll probably want to increase your water intake.
- Metabolism. If you think you have a speedy metabolism and your body seems to need more fuel to keep its engines revved, you may want to take some extra sips during the day.
- Size. The more you weigh, the more water your body tends to need.
But water demands are also like the stock market, with daily fluctuations that depend on:
Foods And Beverages Other Than Water Can Contribute To Hydration
Its not just plain water that supplies your body with water. Other beverages, like milk and fruit juice, count as well.
Contrary to popular belief, caffeinated beverages and mild alcoholic drinks such as beer may also contribute to fluid intake, at least when theyre consumed in moderation (
Lastly, small amounts of water are produced within your body when you metabolize nutrients. This is referred to as metabolic water .
People who dont get much water from foods need to drink more than those who eat more water-rich foods.
Besides water, other foods and beverages you ingest also contribute to your overall daily intake of fluids and help keep you hydrated. Some water is also created within your body through metabolism.
Ways To Maintain Good Hydration
How do you know how much water your individual body needs? Rather than focusing on a specific daily amount, some experts recommend drinking water at a slow rate throughout the day. Hydration is easiest to achieve if constantly managed, so continually drinking water keeps your body in a consistent state of hydration.
If your goal is to drink 64 ounces of water per day, says UH registered dietitian Jennifer Kerner, consider dividing the goal between three periods of the day, which would amount to about 2 to 3 cups in the morning, 2 to 3 cups during the afternoon, and 2 to 3 cups in the evening.
You should also be aware of signs of dehydration, which include feeling weak, confused and dizzy experiencing frequent headaches and making urine that is dark in color.
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Tips For Drinking More Water
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Water is important for every cell in the body to function properly. The digestive system functions better with adequate hydration, preventing constipation. Water also helps flush toxins from the body, promotes good kidney function, keeps your joints and muscles lubricated, supports healthier and younger-looking skin, and helps regulate body temperature.
Mayo Clinic recommends this minimum daily intake of water:
- Women 11.5 cups, or 92 ounces
- Men 15.5 cups, or 124 ounces
Anyone can become dehydrated, but certain people are at a greater risk, including infants, young children and people who work or exercise outdoors. In addition, older adults are more likely to become dehydrated.
As you age, your body’s fluid reserve becomes smaller, your ability to conserve water is reduced and your thirst sense becomes less acute. These problems are compounded by chronic illnesses such as diabetes and dementia, and the use of certain medications. Older adults also can have mobility problems that limit their ability to obtain water for themselves.
Increasing your water intake may seem easy, but it can be hard to remember to drink up.
Here are some tips for upping your water game:
Follow some of these tips to keep yourself and your loved ones properly hydrated.
Liana Reiland is a Family Medicine nurse practitioner in Mondovi, Wisconsin.
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How Much Water You Should Actually Be Drinking Every Day
Mineral, seltzer, tonic, spring, alkaline, distilled it’s hard to fathom that there are so many variations of the same colorless, tasteless substance without a single calorie. Whether you get your water from a plastic bottle or straight out of the tap, the most important thing is that you get it. The human body is 60% water, reports GoodRx, providing a variety of important functions crucial to survival, including joint lubrication, temperature regulation, mouth cleaning, waste removal, and transporting nutrients through the bloodstream.
Apps have even been created to encourage folks to drink water. Plant Nanny, for instance, rewards users for every cup they drink by allowing them to water a cartoon plant the health of the plant is directly linked to how much water the user drinks and logs into the app. Considering that adequate water intake is so crucial to human wellbeing, it might seem surprising that 75% of Americans could be living in a state of chronic dehydration, according to CBS. Or, perhaps you might not be shocked at all. Madelyn Fernstrom, NBC News health editor, reports that it’s common for people to view drinking water as a chore, per MSNBC. But, whether you love it or hate it, water intake is an integral part of sustaining long-term health and wellbeing. So, how much of it should you be drinking per day?
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How Much Water Do You Really Need
At the most basic level, you should be drinking enough water every day that you do not show any symptoms of dehydration and that your body is functioning well. There is no exact number for everyone since it varies based on your body, activity level, diet, climate, and more.
Generally speaking, doctors recommend that you get at least 6 cups of water daily at a minimum but most people should be drinking more than that. One easy indicator is urine. Your urine should be fairly frequent and like yellow or clear in color. Darker or smelly urine is an indicator of dehydration and usually indicated you should be drinking more water.
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How Much Water Should Girls Drink
The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies recommends that girls between the ages of 4 and 8 should drink 1.7 liters of water per day . This progresses to 2.1 liters of water for girls between 9 and 13.
Recommended intake doesn’t change as significantly for girls as boys as they move towards adulthood. From 14 to 18, daily water drinking of 2.4 liters is considered adequate. This data is displayed in the chart below.
Females are about 50% water compared to 59% for men according to a 2005 study from the US National Academy of Sciences. They weigh less than their male counterparts and hence have reduced water intake requirements. Females are more sensitive to dehydration.
A 2010 study at the University of Connecticut found that dehydration levels of even 1.5% in women can cause significant issues in concentration in performance tests.
A Moderate Approach To Staying Healthy
Roxanne B. Sukol, a medical doctor and preventative medicine specialist at the Cleveland Clinic, describes the signs that might indicate dehydration. Dark urine with a strong odor is a telltale clue, she says, but dizziness, constipation, stomach cramps, and excessive fatigue can all be indicators as well.
On the flip side, Medical News Today cautions against drinking too much water. Overloading on water can cause hyponatremia, which can occur when the blood plasma sodium levels become dangerously low. Hyponatremia can cause symptoms as mild as headache and fatigue or as serious as brain swelling and coma.
According to the CDC, there is no specific set recommendation for how much plain water a person should drink. Instead, it suggests that a combination of obtaining water from eating natural foods and from drinking plain water is a realistic and attainable way to stay healthy and hydrated.
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Adjustments For Climate Excessive Sweating & Pregnancy
If you are a woman and you are pregnant, you will require more water per day and you will require even more water if you are lactating. Our water drinking calculator will perform the adjustments for you based on a compromise between tables provided by the European Food Safety Authority and the U.S. Institute of Medicine .
The results of this water calculator assume most of your day is spent in a moderate climate. If you live in a hot climate and spend your days mostly outside or in a non-climatized building, then you will need to adjust your water intake upwards, but we are not aware of good research estimating by how much depending on temperature, exposure to sun, etc.
The results of the hydration calculator also assume you are not subject to vigorous physical activity in a hot environment, in which cases losses in excess of 3L per hour are possible and you need to adjust your fluid intake accordingly to compensate for that. Cold climates have less of an effect, but extremely cold climates may result in increased energy needs to compensate for the heat loss and thus you may need a higher water intake per day.
Food And Other Liquids Count Toward Your Daily Water Intake
If 11-16 cups of water sounds like a lot, youll be relieved to know that all fluids count toward your daily intake, not just plain old H20. That includes all sources of waterfrom a basic glass of tap, to a cup of coffee, to the water content of the foods you eat .
According to the Mayo Clinic, the benchmark should really say “eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid,” not water, because drinking things like milk, tea, and juice contribute to your total. “Good options for hydration without added calories are waters infused with fruit and herbs, unsweetened tea, and sparkling water,” Levinson says.
“Your body absorbs water in foods just like it would liquids,” Levinson explains. Many fruits and vegetables have high water content, the Mayo Clinic says. Some good options: watermelon , cucumbers, lettuce, celery, tomatoes, strawberries, oranges, and grapefruit. Even soup and popsicles count as fluids.
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When Should A Person Drink Water
Most of the time, the bodys sensitive natural mechanisms maintain appropriate fluid levels.
There are two main ways the body does this: through thirst, which tells a person to drink more water and through urine output, in which the kidneys regulate the water we consume by either emptying it into the urinary bladder or holding onto it in the blood plasma.
The kidneys also regulate the balance of electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium, in the body fluids. Additionally, they receive hormonal signals to conserve or release water into the urine if the brain detects changes in the concentration of the solutes in the blood.
It is often said that people need to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. However, this is an overly simplistic answer to a complicated question.
The body is good at regulating itself , and water is no exception. The body is constantly working to maintain a balance of water coming in and water going out. If a person drinks too much water, the body will excrete more. If they drink too little, it will excrete less.
In addition to body size and activity level, other everyday factors can play a role in determining how much water a person should drink.
For example, consuming more sodium and protein means a person may need to drink more water. Conversely, eating a lot of fruits and vegetables means they may not need to drink as much.
Getting Enough Water In Your Daily Diet
As a general rule, most people get 80% of their fluids from beverages and 20% from food. For an idea of what that may look like, here’s how you could get around 100 fluid ounces from your diet with the following routine:
- Morning: Drink 2 eight-ounce glasses of water and 2 eight-ounce cups of coffee for a total of 32 fluid ounces. Add to that some water-rich foods for breakfast like blackberries, which are 88% water, with yogurt, which is also 88% water.
- Afternoon: Drink 2 eight-ounce glasses of water and 2 eight-ounce cups of tea for another 32 fluid ounces. Also include water-rich foods with lunch like romaine lettuce , broth-based soups , and cucumbers .
- Evening: With dinner, drink 2 eight-ounce glasses of water and a 16 oz. bottle of kombucha and that should get you to, or close to, 100 fluid ounces for the day.
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Age Body Size Climate Activity Level And Lifestyle All Influence How Much Water Your Body Really Needs
Weve all heard the age-old advice to drink eight cups of water a day. But if you fall short, dont worry: That advice is probably wrong anyway.
Thats according to new research, published in the journal Science, which found that for most healthy adults, drinking eight cups of water a day is completely unnecessary. The advice is misguided in part because it doesnt take into account all the water that we get from our food and from other beverages like coffee and tea. The research found that our water needs vary from one person to next and depend on factors like your age, sex, size, physical activity levels and the climate that you live in.
The authors of the study say that for healthy adults, there is no real benefit to drinking eight cups of water a day. Nor is it dangerous: Your body will just excrete the extra water you consume in your urine.
If you drink eight cups of water a day, youll be fine youre just going to be spending a lot more time in the bathroom, said Herman Pontzer, a professor of evolutionary anthropology and global health at Duke University and a co-author of the study.
Some experts have argued that the widely held belief was not rooted in science. One study of 883 elderly adults for example found that there was no evidence of dehydration among the 227 people in the study who routinely drank less than six glasses of water daily.
Benefits Of Drinking Water Daily
Water helps to keep you healthy in a number of ways. When you drink enough, it:
- Helps you remove waste from your body through your urine, stool, and sweat
- Helps your body stay a normal temperature, rather than overheating
- Helps protect delicate tissues in your body
- Keeps your joints cushioned and lubricated
- Adds to skin health and keeping your skin plumped
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Some People May Need To Drink More Water
For the average, healthy adult, drinking when you are thirsty is a good way to stay hydrated.
Of course, there are other factors that will affect how well you stay hydrated throughout the day. For example, if you consume large amounts of salt, sugar, or alcoholic beverages, this could dehydrate you even if you’ve consumed the necessary fl. oz. for the day.
Note: If you live in a dry or hot climate, you may also need more fluids than someone who lives in a cool, wet climate.
In addition, athletes may need to get ahead of their thirst, as even mild dehydration, which comes on before you feel thirsty, can affect physical performance by lowering endurance and motivation. Three other groups who may have a harder time staying hydrated are the elderly, pregnant women, and new moms.
“As we age, our sensitivity to detect thirst declines, which makes older adults more susceptible to dehydration,” says Brenda M. Davy, a registered dietician nutritionist and professor at Virginia Tech. In this case, people over 65 are recommended to keep water nearby and drink even if they don’t feel thirsty.
When you are pregnant, you also need to drink extra fluids to support both you and the baby. Being dehydrated while pregnant can lead to complications like birth defects or premature delivery. And if you are breastfeeding, you should drink an extra glass of water every time you breastfeed to replenish lost fluids.
Dangers Of Dehydration Among The Elderly
Our kidneys are the primary organ responsible for processing fluids efficiently. Due to decreased kidney function as we age, seniors are more prone to going to the bathroom more frequently, resulting in less fluid retention. Additionally, certain medications such as diuretics, laxatives, and chemotherapy drugs, can cause increased dehydration. According to Georgetown University, three-quarters of people ages 50-64 take prescription drugs, and a staggering 91 percent of people ages 80 and older.
Due to the above factors, the danger of dehydration among seniors is a real threat. Common health implications resulting from dehydration include dizziness, fainting, constipation, confusion and disorientation, and a drop in blood pressure.
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Recommended Dietary Fluid Intake
recommend that we drink plenty of water but how much is enough?The amount of fluid your body needs each day depends on several factors, such as:
* from breastmilk or formula# from breastmilk, formula, food, plain water and other beveragesThese adequate intakes include all fluids, but its preferable that the majority of intake is from plain water .Some people may need less fluid than this. For example, people:
- Who eat a lot of high-water content foods .
- In cold environments.
- Who are largely sedentary.
Other people might need more fluid than the amount listed and will need to increase their fluid intake if they are:
- On a high-protein diet, to help the kidneys process the extra protein.
- On a high-fibre diet to help prevent constipation.
- Vomiting or have diarrhoea, to replace the extra fluids lost.
- Physically active, to replace the extra fluids lost through sweat.
- Exposed to warm or hot conditions, to replace the extra fluids lost through sweat.
Although activity levels affect the amount of fluid needed, there are many factors that influence the fluid needs of athletes during training and competition. For example, it is likely that athletes exercising in mild conditions will need less fluid than athletes competing at high intensities in warm conditions.