How Much Water Do I Need To Drink Per Day?

As simple as this question looks, its answer is not that simple. How much water you drink a day depends on a few factors such as the region where you live, how active you are, and the state of your health. So you would agree with me that one who resides in the arid regions would require more water than those who live in areas where water is easily accessible. Athletes on a normal practice day may consume more water than one who sits in an office signing off cheques.

For the body to function at its highest level, we must continually keep up with the water loss by replenishing with beverages and foods that do contain water. Check out my article on why is it important to drink water for more benefits of water. The adequate intake for the males ranges about 2.5-3 liters of beverage daily. That is about 13-14 cups of water. Women should average about 9-10 cups of water daily, which is approximately 2 liters of beverage per day. To make sure you fulfill your adequate water intake, remember that for every 1kg of body weight, you need 0.033 liter of water. So just calculate your intake by:

Water to drink per day = my weight in kg x 0.033

So if you weigh 60kg, you should have about 2 liters of water daily. Also be sure to note that taking beverages as a means of water replacement has its slight disadvantage. Beverages that contain caffeine or alcohol can increase diuresis, although this effect may be negligible. We have been able to establish that water intake is hinged on some factors or condition and hence it varies for both sexes. So let’s look wholly at some of these factors:

Environment –

One fact to establish is that whether the weather is hot or cold, you still need water.  Naturally, we know that when one is in a hot or humid environment, one is likely to sweat and hence lose water in the process. This water loss requires additional intake so as to compensate and also balance for the loss in sweating. During winter seasons, heated indoor air causes the skin to lose moisture. Also for frequent flyers, altitudes exceeding 8,200 feet or (2500 meters) may cause frequency in urination and more rapid shallow breathing which does use up a bit of the water reserve.

State of Health (illness) –

Have you ever had an upset stomach before, which probably led to your vomiting or having diarrhea? You would notice that you felt unusually weak after such episodes because you were dehydrated. Dehydration presents with weakness due to the loss of additional fluids. In these cases, patients are always advised to drink more and more water in order to make up for the lost fluids. Some doctors may go as far as recommending oral rehydration solutions like the Ceralyte, Gatorade etc. In some health conditions, you may be advised to lower your water intake. These conditions generally do have a water-retaining feature hence a need to lower the intake to avoid exacerbation of existing condition. Such include Heart failure, and certain kinds of liver and kidney pathology that may impair excretion of water. Also, if your doctor has placed you on thiazides or other diuretic medications, you may need to check with him/her as regards your required water intake to keep you physiologically balanced. In the older people, the thirst reflex is somewhat declined; which predisposes them to dehydration at a faster rate.

Exercise –

Once you are engaged in any physical activity that makes you sweat, you will always need to drink up more water to make up for the apparent fluid loss. The intake will differ based on whether you are engaged in short bouts of exercise or actually running a marathon. So how much water you need when exercising depends on the amount of sweat you produce, the type and duration of the exercise. Normally in athletes who are involved in long intense training, it’s always better to use a sports drink that contains a good amount of sodium (which is also lost in sweat), so as to reduce the chances of hyponatremia, which could be a life threatening condition.

Pregnancy/Breast-feeding –

Lactating moms need additional fluid intake in order to remain adequately hydrated, since they are giving out fluids in the form of breast milk to the babies. Its mostly recommended that pregnant mothers drink about 10 cups or 2.5 liters of fluid daily and lactating moms who breastfeed should take in about 13-14 cups of fluid per day. Infants should be given breast milk or formula unless otherwise prescribed by your paediatrician.

Water is a healing medicine, so drink it and drink enough.

If you dislike the taste of water, the easiest way to overcome is by drinking it more often. Or in the alternative, rather than forcing yourself to gulp down 8 glasses of water, you can channel your focus to your total fluid intake and count on other water sources such as fruits and food. Yes, food.

I’d really like to know what you guys think, so leave your comments below.

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