The amount of water we require is determined by a variety of factors. Age, gender, lifestyle, physical activity, and overall health can all have an impact on how much food we require each day. There isn't a magic number or rule to follow, but the 8-8-ounce rule, or half our body weight, is a simple approach to ensure we're drinking enough and replacing any water lost throughout the day. The colour test is a simple approach to see if we're hydrated: if your pee is pale, you're hydrated; if it's dark yellow or amber, you'll need to drink more water.
Why Is Drinking Water Important?
When it comes to water, many of us automatically assume that we’re not drinking enough throughout the day. On average, about 60 percent of our body is water and it impacts every cell in our body. We understand that it is vital to our overall health but struggle to squeeze it in our daily routine, and we’ve heard various suggestions about how much we really need, such as 8-8-ounce glasses in a day, half our body weight, or to sip water before we become thirsty. So how much do we actually need?
How Does Water Affect Our Body?
First, let’s discuss how water affects our body. Water is considered an essential nutrient and has numerous important functions in our body, including:
- carrying oxygen and nutrients to our cells
- supports healthy digestion and bladder function by flushing out bacteria
- cushions joints
- protects our tissues and organs
- regulates body temperature
- maintains normal electrolyte balance
- helps maintain normal blood pressure and heartbeat
Studies have found that dehydration can cause low energy, headaches, fatigue, constipation, kidney stones, bladder cancer, and dehydrated skin. Studies also found that proper hydration can support weight management – participants who had water with their meals consumed less food; it was also found that drinking water provided a temporarily boost in metabolism.
How to Increase Your Water Intake
We can increase our water intake by drinking water when thirsty, consume water with meals, carrying a reusable water bottle, or adding flavors or fruit such as a lemon to our water. We also do obtain some hydration from other beverages, but it’s encouraged to avoid sugary beverages. Food will also provide some hydration, especially from fruits and vegetables like strawberries, watermelon, celery, and lettuce that have a high water content.
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This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. Do not use the information from this article for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your health care provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read in this article.
- Jéquier E, Constant F. Water as an essential nutrient: the physiological basis of hydration. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2010;64(2):115-23.
- Available at: http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-much-water-should-you-drink. Accessed December 20, 2019.
- Available at: http://www.eatright.org/food/nutrition/healthy-eating/how-much-water-do-you-need. Accessed December 20, 2019.
- How Much Water Should You Drink a Day? January 16, 2020By Gabby Kim, MA, BSN https://www.personanutrition.com/blog/how-much-water-should-you-drink-a-day/