"Drink 8 glasses of water a day." "Drink half
your bodyweight in ounces." Some of us may
have heard these recommendations, but is it
really that simple?
I get asked this question almost every day. "How much
water should I drink?" Check 5 sites online and they
probably give you 5 different answers. The truth of
the matter is that there is not one correct answer.
The amount of water you needs depends on several
factors, including gender, activity level, and lifestyle.
Even the location you live determines the amount of
water you need! Knowing about these factors will
help you to get the best estimate about the amount of
water YOU need!
Why Should You Drink Water?
Besides the fact that you would die without it, water is the most
important "supplement" to your health and well-being.
Some us may already know that water makes up an
astounding 60 percent of our total bodyweight, but what
most of us don't know is that water can aid in immune
support, fat loss, and increase energy levels.
Not getting enough water, leads to a condition known as
dehydration. Even being slightly dehydrated leads to
reduction in performance physically and cognitively. Did
you know that you actually lose water through breathing and
perspiration? It has been estimated that for a 150 pound
male can lose up to 5 pounds of water loss per day just from
normal body function!
So How Much Water Do I Need?
According the Institute of Medicine, men living in temperate
climate need roughly 3 liters, or 13 cups of water. For
women that number drops to only 9 cups of water. Now that
may seem like a lot, most of us will consume around 20% of
our water demands through diet. Shockingly, your body will
produce another cup of water every single day!
Now for the sedentary individuals that translates to around 7
cups of water for men and women. These numbers don't
seem as daunting of a task now does it? But wait! I said
sedentary individuals, not active.
For active individuals and athletes, there is little research
suggesting the appropriate amount of water to consume per
day. Athletes and active people will generally require more
water than sedentary individuals, as they lose more water
through perspiration and breathing, and typically have a higher
metabolic rate and demand. Depending on the type of activity,
water intake may need to increase as much as 2 times the daily
requirement from the Institute of Medicine!
Play It Safe!
Drinking enough fluid should leave urine either colorless or
a light yellow in color and you should rarely feel thirsty.
Each person will require a different amount to stay
properly hydrated. There is no right or wrong answer.
"Drinking 8 glasses of water a day" seems appropriate, but
active individuals may need upwards of a half-gallon or
more per day!
For those that find it hard to drink water, spice things up by
adding lemon or cucumber to your water. Not only does
this add flavor to water, it adds another health benefit to
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