How Much Water Should We Drink Daily – Importance of Hydration

Water is a basic necessity for human body and is quintessential for a healthy and fulfilling life. Completing your daily water intake can do wonders for your body. After going on for hours without drinking water, a glass of the refreshing liquid revitalizes the body. As you may know that an adult human body is made up of 60% water. The majority of the body’s functions are dependent on an adequate amount of water intake.

taking water intake

The critical question is: how can you know what the right quantity of water is for you. A person living in scorching areas may need more than the standard average 2-3 liters of water to meet their fluid requirement. Other times, you might be meeting your body’s need for water just fine. You may not be drinking more because you do not need more. Your age and gender also affect your water intake because of the natural proportion of water in the body.

Based on Age and Gender Percentage of Water in the Body
New Born Babies 78%
1 Year Old Infants 65%
Adult Males 60%
Adult Females 55%

Source: USGS, The Water in You: Water and the Human Body!

If you are drinking water way more than your body’s requirement, you might develop a severe condition called water intoxication or hyponatremia. You may notice symptoms such as nausea, bloating, and swelling of the brain. Moreover, frequent bathroom trips can become quite inconvenient. Therefore, it is essential to pay attention to your body’s actual requirement of fluid intake.

Water Requirement by Age or Condition

The recommended intake of water for males and females is:

Based on Age or Condition Water Intake Level per day
Adult Male 3.0 – 3.7 liters (15.5 cups)
Adult Female 2.2 – 2.7 liters (11.5 cups)

The human body can lose around 3 liters of fluids per day in the form of sweat, urine, and other chemical reactions. For that reason, you need fluids to replace the lost liquids. However, the fluid intake level is not limited to water only. Fruits, vegetables, coffee, tea, milk, and juices also help to replenish the defecated water. So if you are taking enough of these already, the rest of the fluid requirement can be met with 1.5 – 2 liters of water intake.

If you are an athlete, you may have to increase the fluid intake more than the recommended level. Athletes sweat more than the average person as a result of strenuous exercises and vigorous training. Sweat can cause them to lose 6-10% of body weight. People who engage in intense physical exercises and professional sportspeople may need to contact an expert dietitian or nutritionist to know the exact level of water intake.

People living in hot climate areas may need more water than the average. Moreover, those with health conditions like diarrhea, vomiting, kidney problems, bladder, and urinary infections need to be extra careful about their water intake. Pregnant and breastfeeding women require additional fluids for their health. If you fall under any of the mentioned situations, it is better to seek advice from the doctor for the essential fluid and nutrition intake.

Importance of Hydration

Given below are some benefits of hydration that can motivate you to reach your daily goal of water intake:

importance of water for digestive system

Constipation: If you are not drinking enough water, you may suffer from constipation. The colon will deprive the feces of water, making excretion difficult. Water helps in digestion and flushes bacteria from the body.

Kidney Stones: Not drinking enough water can slowly accumulate the salts in the body. Eventually, these salts can form kidney stones if dehydration goes on for a long period.

Weight Loss: It is not easy to differentiate your body’s demand for water or food. Consequently, you can mistake thirst for hunger and eat more than required. Try drinking water first, and see if the feeling goes away. Drinking water before meals can also cause you to eat lesser and thus helps in weight loss.

Headaches: According to a research, less water intake can cause headaches, concentration, and memory problems. It can result in moodiness, anxious behavior, and worsening of migraines.

Skin Complexion: Another claimed health benefit of hydration is better skin complexion and getting rid of dark eye bags. However, there is not enough proof to support this claim.

To improve your hydration, the best way is to drink water after short intervals throughout the day. If you do not prefer to drink water so much, you can include fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. Most fruits and vegetables comprise 98% of water. You will not only stay healthy but also consume less fatty foods and hydrate a lot better.

Dehydration

Dehydration occurs when you are not taking the required amount of water. Dehydration can affect the normal functioning of the body. A major indicator of dehydration is when the urine appears yellower or darker. If you do not increase your water intake, it may lead to low blood pressure, dizziness, absentmindedness, constipation, or headaches. To avoid dehydration, include more fruits (strawberries and watermelon) and vegetables (spinach, celery, cucumbers, carrots, and tomatoes) in your diet. But water is still the best choice because it is easily available, inexpensive, and has no calories.

Useful Tips for Staying Hydrated

  • The most authentic way to find out the right water consumption is through the body’s thirst signals. If you often do not feel thirsty, you are doing well.
  • The color of urine is another indication of the water level in the body. If it is light yellow or colorless, you do not need to up your water intake.
  • You can also check by the volume. A small volume of urine can mean low water intake.
  • Drink more water during the day to stay hydrated and decrease the intake level at night before sleeping, to avoid frequent tours to the bathroom.
  • Whenever you eat or take exercise, drink water. This way, you can remember to hydrate better.
  • Consume more foods with high water content such as salads and fruits like watermelon to meet the daily fluid requirement.
  • Keep an eye on infants’ water intake as they cannot readily identify their need for water.
  • If you are unable to keep track of your water intake, set a schedule on your phone or download a water drinking app.

Conclusion

Every individual has a different requirement of water. If you want to be more precise about the right intake level for your body, it is better to consult a doctor. Remember that drinking more than your body requirement will not provide you any additional benefits. So, it is advisable to drink the amount of water originally needed by the body.

Furthermore, only drinking water is not enough. What is important that you intake clean and clear water. Water that is contaminated can do more harm than good. Take a healthy diet, drink enough water, and stay fit. If clean water is not available in your vicinity, invest in installing a water filtration system. Although a costly approach, the benefits provided by it can outweigh the costs in the long run.

Categories Blog

Leave a Comment