Have you ever gone through a hot summer day, and once you got home you finished downing a 2 litters bottle within a minute? This is something that we don’t do when it is winter. Likewise, the amount of water you should drink in a day largely depends on your physical conditions, daily activities, and so on.
There is no short-cut answer to “how much water should I be drinking Water a day?” that will fit every other person. The answer differs from person to person. Studies from around the globe show various recommendations over the years. Let’s find out the proper way to figure out how much water you need to drink in a day, taking into consideration different cases.
The Amount of Water to Drink, How Much Water Should I Drink In A Day?
Your body weight is made up of more or less 60 percent water, depending on your gender. Every organ of your body needs an adequate supply of water to function properly.
If you are a parent, you should give proper attention to keep your kid hydrated during the day. Kids between the age of 4 to 8 years, should drink 5 cups of water a day. The amount increases to 7-8 cups for the kids of 9 to 13 years of age. For teenagers, it is recommended to drink 8-11 cups a day.
For an average adult male person, it is recommended to drink at least 13 cups of water. Women are advised to drink 9 cups a day. If a woman is pregnant, she needs to drink a minimum of 10 cups of water. Breastfeeding women are highly recommended to drink 13 cups of water a day, as milk production requires water.
While exercising, it is recommended to drink more water than usual. The reason is, when you work out, your body will sweat more and make you dehydrated. So, people who are engaged in certain exercises like cycling, running and swimming, need to pay particular attention to the amount of water they are drinking on a regular basis.
As cycling requires a lot of physical labor, a cyclist sweats more than a non-active individual. If you’re a cyclist, you need to drink more water during, before, and after cycling.
Four hours before hopping onto your bike, you should drink 16 ounces of water, and before two hours, make it to 12 ounces. While riding, you need to consider both the factors of the heat and what your body needs. Try to drink before you get thirsty when you are on the ride. The amount would be 16-20 ounces or even more per hour depending on the condition of the weather. Clean water is enough for you to get electrolytes for comfortable rides.
For the more intense ride, it is highly recommended that you should consider a sports drink. It will recharge you with the essential fluid, carbohydrates, and electrolytes that your body needs. After finishing the ride, continue to drink if you feel thirsty or running low on energy.
Whether you are an athlete or a moderate runner, you need to drink more water than an average person. Consume 15 ounces of fluid before starting the run. And during the session, drink 8 ounces every 15 minutes.
If you run for more than an hour, you should consider drinking isotonic sports drinks. A sports drink would be more effective for you to delay fatigue and enhance performance than plain water.
After finishing your marathon or sprint, drink 16-24 ounces for every pound of weight you lost during the time of exercising. In that case, weigh yourself before starting and after finishing the running to figure out the exact amount of water you should drink.
For swimmers, staying hydrated is an influential factor. The lack of hydration will cause fatigue during workouts, reduced response times, the risk of injuries, etc. As a swimmer, you need to drink 16 ounces of water two hours before the training for staying properly hydrated. Drinking before diving into the pool makes it a lot easier for you to adjust the further water requirements at the time of swimming.
If you are in the pool for less than half an hour, drink about 8 ounces of fluid every 20 minutes. Also keep in mind that, you need to drink after swimming, till your body fully recovers the energy you lost.
No matter what exercise you are engaged in, there is a way to find out the exact amount of fluid that you need to drink after working out. Before starting the workout, weigh yourself. After finishing the workout, weigh yourself again. Now you know what amount of weight you lost during the exercise. For recovering each lost pound, drink 2-3 at least 18 ounces of fluid.
Now, how would you know that you are drinking enough water? You can answer this question simply by examining yourself. Are you rarely feeling thirsty? Is the color of your urine clear or it is light yellow? If the answers are affirmative, bravo! You are getting the fluid that your body needs. If no, then drink enough water until the answers turn yes.
Weight Loss And Water Consumption
Many weight loss enthusiasts will tell you that drinking water is important for weight loss. While this is partially true, there is a common misunderstanding regarding this aspect. If you don’t drink enough water, then your water will likely store more water because it assume that you don’t have access to more water – after all, your body knows that it needs water to survive. Once you go on a diet and start drinking more fluids, the first few pound you lose are going to be water weight – you body will stop storing so much of it because you are longer dehydrated.
But how does drinking water help you lose weight? Many times, we eat because we think we are hungry when we are actually dehydrated. So drinking water will help you lose weight by helping you avoid overeating – after all, most of us gain weight because we are eating more calories than we can possibly burn. Another way that water consumption can help with weight loss is that you will feel fuller when you drink enough water – an alternative way to avoid overeating.
Also, when you are trying to drink a lot of water (as per recommendations), you will find that you won’t be drinking other sugary beverages like soda. Those beverages are considered empty calories, because there is little to no nutrition in them, but a lot of calories that you don’t necessarily realize you’re consuming.
Finally, some people drink water right before a meal so that they feel fuller faster, and avoid overeating during the meal. This does not necessarily work for everyone, but it is definitely worth a try.
Don’t Drink Too Much Water
Hopefully, now, you got our point that we want you to be properly hydrated in every situation. But if you drink too much water, the result could be the opposite. You will be harmed by the disease named “Hyponatremia”. It will flush out the sodium from your blood to insanely low levels. Which will end causing you fatigue, nausea, headaches, cramps, and in extreme cases it can cause seizures and death as well.
Why Is Water So Important?
We have always heard that our bodies are mainly composed of water, and that without water humans cannot survive. In fact, most doctors and nutritionists estimate that the maximum a human can survive without water for longer than a week, and many have died from dehydration in as little as 3 days. The exact number of days differs according to a number of factors, including the person’s weight, age, physical activity during dehydration, and the weather – hot weather causes people to sweat more. Given all these information, it’s natural to wonder what function water has in our bodies, which is something you should ask if you finding yourself constantly asking “how much water should i be drinking a day?” In any case, these are a few functions of water in the human body:
Water Is The Universal Solvent
You blood carries nutrients around your body, and while there are specific cells that help blood do that, they would no be able to function properly without water in the cells to draw molecules of nutrients and ions across cell membranes. In other words, water acts as a carrier on a molecular level for most of the reactions that occur in the cells of your body.
We all know that when the weather is hot, we sweat more. The opposite happens when we are feeling cold. The sweat produced when we the temperature rises is a natural function of your body and it serves as a mechanism to cool you do down. Sweating relies on a principle known as heat of evaporation, whereby heat is required to evaporate the sweat (water) on your skin. The heat loss translates to brining your temperature down. Obviously, your sweat glands need water in order to produce sweat (which is over 99% water), so it is imperative that water is replaced to combat the dehydrating effect of sweating. Nonetheless, water plays an important role in this process.
All your joints (knuckles, knees, ankles, elbows, etc.) are surrounded by a fluid known as synovial fluid. It’s function is to keep the join lubricated and avoid the bones from grinding against each other. Synovial fluid can be compared to grease that is used to lubricate bearings and machine parts. As you’d expect, the lubricant would run out with time, and needs to be replenished. Drinking water can help in replenishing the ever-diminishing amount of synovial fluid in your joints. The effect of water consumption can be felt clearly by those who have arthritis, because dehydration causes pain in their joints from reduced synovial fluid production.
Another way that water is helpful in lubrication is when it used to moisten different soft tissues such as your nose, eyes, mouth, etc. For example, your eyes would dry out if it were not for your tears. Water is an essential component in the production of tears, where it functions to moisten your eyes. This is also why increasing your water consumption helps keep your skin healthy, because the moistened tissues of your skin can stay more elastic.
Weight loss goals aside, water is important in allowing the body to absorb nutrients. You see, water has a special feature whereby it can pull certain molecules with it from one side of a cell membrane to the other until both sides have the same saturation of water – the process is known as osmosis. Our bodies utilize this feature by creating an imbalance of water across the cell membranes in our digestive system, so that water (via osmosis) can pull nutrients into the blood stream. It’s an old wives’ tale that you shouldn’t drink water during, before, or after a meal. In fact, water intake while eating can aid in digestion and help your body absorb more water soluble nutrients.
No matter how healthy your lifestyle is, and how “pure” your food is, there is bound to be toxins in your the food you eat and the beverages you drink. Our bodies have evolves to get rid of these toxins and the parts of our food that we cannot digest through a excretion – either via feces or urine. Water has an important function in both these processes. In the digestive system, water functions to create a balance between too-loose and t00-hard stool. Essentially, water helps prevents constipation, or helps your flush out toxins via diarrhea.
On the other hand, water helps reduce the load on your kidneys by allowing them to filter out toxins more efficiently through urine. Without water, the filtration process becomes much more difficult, and salts or deposits in your kidneys develop into kidney stones.
Blood Pressure Regulation
Recent research shows that water plays a significant role in blood pressure regulation. Although there is still more research needed to understand the physiology of this process, it has been proven that water activates the fight or flight response of our bodies. In layman’s terms, our body has evolved to include a response that makes us more alert, raises our blood pressure, among other effects. This is a function of what is known as the sympathetic system, and research shows that water can activate this system, aiding in blood pressure regulation.
Water Intake From Different Beverages, And Other Ways To Increase Water Consumption
Although water is the elixir of life, many people have trouble meeting the recommended minimum levels of water consumption simply because they never developed a taste for drinking water. However, you they still need to increase their water intake. So how can someone drink more water? Here are a few ideas:
Add Fruit (Or Other Additives) To Your Water For Flavor
Pinterest and Instagram are full of health influencers that have taught us that you can add berries, cucumber slices, or fruit chunks to your water to add some flavor without adding too many calories. This may take some experimentation before you find the right combination of flavors that will work for you. You can also try adding herbs like mint or rosemary. Basically, as long as you aren’t adding sugar, or adding more fruit than water – you should be fine. If you’re adding a lot of sugar and fruit, then that’s juice you’re making. While that will add to your water consumption, it will also add to your calorie intake. In that case, the drawbacks may outweigh the benefits.
Tea And Coffee Can Contribute To Your Water Intake
A common misconception about tea and coffee is that their diuretic effect means you’re losing more water than you are consuming. While it is true that caffeine in tea and coffee can have a diuretic effect, that is, they can cause you to urinate more (and thus lose water) – the amount of water lost is less than the amount of water you consume when drinking your cup of joe or your relaxing cup of tea. So, drinking these two beverages counts towards your water intake. Note that, you shouldn’t be adding sugar to your tea and coffee, because it is bad for your body in more ways than one.
Get A Water Bottle With Timestamps
Because health enthusiasts are always pushing for more water consumptions, some bottle companies have decided to manufacture large bottles of water that have timestamps on them. These are just like ordinary water bottles, but they have markings on the side so that you can track how much water you can already consumed during the day. Many people say that this helps them actually finish the recommended amount they should be drinking daily.
If you don’t feel like making the (small) investment and getting this type of water bottle, you can always just mark a regular water bottle with a permanent marker to keep track of your water intake. Of course, make sure that the bottle is big enough to last you the entire day, or at least a significant portion of your day. Another alternative to give you the same result is to download a water reminder app on you phone. There are thousands of free and paid apps that allow you to set a reminder on your phone to drink water, and some even allow you to enter different configurations of the water you drank (such as 400ml cup, 350 ml cup etc.)
Change Your Source Of Water
All water tastes like nothing, right? Well, not exactly. Despite the way we describe the way water tastes, there is actually quite a bit of variation between different sources of water. As previously mentioned, many people don’t drink enough water because they don’t enjoy the taste. These people usually only drink water when they are extremely thirsty and no other beverage is available. If you put different samples of bottled water next to each other, most people will be able to taste differences between them. This is because very company adds or removes minerals from the water, and there is no standard amount of minerals that should be in water to make it fit for consumption. You can also mimic this difference by filtering your water – even simple tap water can be filtered to give an entirely different taste.
Some people prefer carbonated water to regular water, which is another way to change the source of your hydration. Carbonated water is just water that has either been naturally or artificially carbonated. It is equally as hydrating as flat water, and contains no extra calories. Keep in mind, however, that many brands sell carbonated water with a lot more added minerals. This makes it a unsuitable for people with kidney problems. Nonetheless, you can still buy a soda machine – which is a machine that will carbonate regular water for you. Anything to help you drink more water, right?
No matter what on earth you do, you are always losing some portion of the liquid from your body. You’ve got to stay adequately hydrated during the whole day. Otherwise, your organs that need the supply of water to function properly may not respond in the way you want them to. Water has been proven to be extremely important in a variety of biological processes in our bodies. Without water, we would not be able to survive. In fact, even decreased hydration can cause a slew of problems. Always keep a water bottle nearby so that you can instantly rehydrate yourself and avoid unhealthy risk factors, and enjoy the benefits of drinking enough water. This article should have provided enough information on how you can increase your water consumption, so you have no excuse to suffer from dehydration anymore. Once you get used to drinking sufficient quantities of water on a regular basis, you’ll may be able to notice the effects of even the mildest dehydration. Ideally, that’s how it should be. What are you waiting for? If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated, so go fill up a large glass with cold water, and replenish your thirst.