Just How Much Water Do You Need Daily?
For many people, drinking water can be a chore. But seeing as we cannot live without it, the question is not whether or not we should drink water. So just how about how much water do we need daily?
Several studies have provided different answers and recommendations to this seemingly simple question. But these studies agree on one thing — water needs vary for everyone.
There are also a number of factors that affect our individual water needs. Some of them are size, diet, metabolism rate and overall health.
How Much Water Should I Drink Daily?
There are varying opinions on just how much water we should drink daily. Many experts recommend the easy to remember 8-glass rule, which is about 2 liters, a day.
However, some believe you need to drink water more constantly throughout the day, even when you’re not thirsty.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) pegged the recommended adequate intake of fluids daily at 3.7 liters (about 15 cups) for men and 2.7 liters (11 cups for women).
How do I Know I’m drinking enough water?
One common way to know if you’re getting enough water daily is by checking the color and volume of your urine. If your urine is light-colored and of significant amount, then you are most likely hydrated.
Also, the frequency of your urine. If you go long stretches of hours without peeing, then the chances that you are dehydrated are high.
Signs of Dehydration
The following are symptoms of dehydration in adults and children:
- Feeling thirsty
- Having a dark yellow and strong-smelling pee.
- Feeling dizzy or lightheaded.
- Feeling tired or cranky
- Having a headache
- Having dry mouth, lips and eyes.
What Else Counts as Water?
Fruits are a great, healthy source of water. Fruits such as watermelon have high water contents, being 90% water. Oranges, melons and grapes are also very rich and provide the body with water.
Although not as water-rich as fruits, vegetables such as cucumbers, tomatoes and carrots are also rich sources of water.
Juices and sports drinks are also hydrating, but can be high in sugar content.
Alcohol, however, is a serious dehydrator. If you must drink, keep it minimal, and follow up with glasses of water.
Can I Drink Too Much Water?
Yes, you can. Drinking too much water can cause the electrolytes in your body to become diluted. One of these electrolyte imbalances is hyponatremia, a condition in which the sodium levels in the body become too low.
However, this case mostly occurs in people with disorders that decrease their bodies’ abilities to excrete the water they consume.