Daily Water Intake: Why it Matters
How much water should we be drinking daily?
It’s a fairly simple question that’s not easy to answer.
Over the years, varying recommendations from studies and experts have been published and while most of them are valid, it’s hard to pinpoint which one is the best answer.
The truth is, any of them can be considered correct because the answer depends on several factors. It depends on our overall health, activity, or even where we live.
The ideal amount of water to drink is not a one-size-fits-all solution but understanding your body’s fluid needs will give you an idea of how much water to drink every day.
How much water do you need?
According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the ideal daily fluid intake is around 3.7 liters for men and around 2.7 liters for women.
While the common advice of drinking 8 glasses of water per day is popular because it’s easy to remember, the ideal amount varies per person.
For some, less than 8 glasses of water per day may be enough while for others, drinking more than 8 glasses of water is a must.
Factors to Consider Concerning Fluid Intake:
As mentioned, you may need to modify your fluid intake depending on several factors, and below are some of them.
The environment we live in can dictate our water needs. If you live in places of higher altitudes, the chances of dehydration are high making your need for water higher as well.
The same can be said about the weather conditions in your area. If you live in a place where the weather is extremely humid, it’s necessary to drink more water than you usually would.
Physical activity is also a major consideration when it comes to water intake.
It goes without saying that the more active you are physically, the more you water you need daily. This is especially true when it comes to exercise.
Anything that makes you sweat requires that you drink extra amounts of water to recover the fluids lost.
If your workouts are more intense and last for several hours, taking sports drinks will help replace all the minerals lost through your perspiration.
Your overall health condition is also an important consideration in determining the amount of water you need.
If you’re nursing a fever or suffering from diarrhea, for instance, adjustments definitely need to be made. You’ll need more fluids to cover the fluid loss.
The same can be said about conditions like urinary tract stones or any form of bladder infections that require additional water intake.
Water is vital for women who are going through pregnancy or breastfeeding a baby.
The obvious reason is because she’s practically taking care of the water needs of two bodies. That of her own, and that of her child’s.
According to the Office on Women's Health, the recommended consumption for pregnant women is around 2.4 liters of water per day while breastfeeding women require around 3.1 liters per day.
Every cell, organ, and tissue in the body needs water to function properly. Water helps eliminate wastes, keep body temperature normal, and protect sensitive tissues which is why we need to meet our daily water needs.
Understanding these factors that affect fluid intake will help you get a rough estimate of how much water you’ll need to stay healthy and hydrated.