With 60% of the body being made of water, we all know water is vital to our day to day functions.
But how much water should you drink per day? Well this is a question that everyone asks, and throughout this article we’ll be deconstructing this question carefully?
There have been a variety of studies on how much water you should drink per day. But there are many factors to consider when attempting to answer this question. These questions include factors such as, your health, how much you exercise, where you live and your gender.
You’ve probably heard it somewhere, the fact that we should be drinking 8 glasses of water every day, and this is true but we have to dig a little deeper than this.
How do we lose water?
Our body is constantly losing water, and this is why we need to constantly top up.
Throughout the day, we are constantly losing water through urinating, breathing and especially sweating. If you are exercising, it is vital to be topping up on water throughout your exercise as sweat is the primary source of losing water.
If you don’t top up on water and are constantly losing water, your risk dehydration. Ensuring we have enough water to prevent dehydration is vital.
What is Dehydration?
Dehydration is when you’re losing more fluid than you’re taking in. According to NHS, some of the main symptoms of Dehydration is feeling tired, being dizzy and the main symptom is just, feeling thirsty.
There are few different types of Dehydration, going from mild dehydration to severe dehydration.
Types of Dehydration
Mild Dehydration is still important avoid, and it can have negative effects. Just mild dehydration can drain your energy and cause you to be tired. Mild Dehydration can also cause a sticky mouth, thirst and mild dehydration can reduce cognitive abilities.
For athletes, mild dehydration is most common. It is caused especially during games and during training or in game day, your body will sweating and you will lose lots of the fluids in your body. This will cause mild dehydration can effect peak performance, reducing endurance and overall reducing your physical performance.
Then there is Severe Dehydration. Severe Dehydration is when the body weight falls by 9 percent and this can be fatal.
Rapid heart beating, sunken eyes, confusion, illusions are all signs that point straight to severe dehydration. If you at any time experience these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.
Symptoms of being dehydrated
Feeling Dry: IF your body is dehydrated, you’ll definitely feel it. Your body will tell you when you need water. You will have a dry mouth, chapped lips, dry skin and more can all be signs of dehydration. All these signs can combine together to create a very uncomfortable and uneasy experience for you.
Muscles weakness: Muscle weakness is a clear sign of being dehydrated. Your muscles will be cramped, and you will be feeling weak and fatigued. You will feel slow and your reaction time will also decrease, these are all signs of being dehydrated.
Unclear Thinking: There have been multiple studies on why being dehydrated causes your brain to become fatigues and unclear, and the best explanation we have is that when you don’t have enough water, the blood volume is your body also drops, and this cause reduced oxygen supply to the brain.
Dark-Coloured Urine: Dark-Coloured Urine is the main symptom that people talk about the most. Most people get scared when they’re pee is a little bit yellow, but actually this is normal. The only time dark-coloured urine is a by-product of being dehydrated is if it is cola coloured, really dark.
Importance of Water
Water is vital for nearly all body functions, and is one of the most important parts of the human body.
It is responsible for maintain the health of all the cells in the body, keeping them alive and supplying the nutrients they need to run your body. Water also keep the bloodstream liquid high enough so blood vessels can travel the body.
Water is also very important for our appearance, the moisture in water helps our skin to keep clean and helps it maintain our appearance, and if you are dehydrated your skin will be like sandpaper and will lose its texture.
Water also helps us digest the food we take in, breaking it down. This helps reduce constipation. Water also clears the bladder clear of bacteria and reduces the risk of cystitis.
Other sources of water
Sometimes, it can be a hassle to constantly be drinking water, and 8 cups is a lot of water and actually does take some dedication. Luckily, you don’t need to only rely on drinking water to get those 8 cups, there are other ways to get those 8 cups per day. Some foods, such as Spinach and Watermelon are nearly 100% water by weight, making them great sources of water.
Other beverages can also be used as replacements as water, if you undoubtedly get sick of water. Drinks such as soda and coffee can also be used as a contributor to your daily water intake.
Sports drinks are NOT are replacement for water. Sports Drinks should only be used for high-intensity exercises, energy drinks replace the electrolytes lost through sweat back into your body. Also energy drinks are NOT replacements. These drinks just contain high amounts of caffeine and other products to give you energy.
So, how much water do we need per day?
The main question, how much water do we need per day? It really does vary based on a large variety of factors. But here’s a rule to use.
With the understanding we have of the body, and how it gets rid of water, the average adult will need 2L a day to sustain the loss of water. This can be simplified using the 8x8 rule, which is eight 8-ounce glasses of water.
But remember, this is just the general rule by the community. There are many factors that can sway this amount lower or higher, and your body can help you work out these factors.
If you’re thirsty, your body is telling you to drink up!
Ways to increase your water intake
Not always is it easy to drink that much water in a day, so here are some quick tips to help you keep your water intake high!
· Keep a water bottle handy: Making sure you keep a water bottle handy with you at work, school, and gym or wherever you go can allow you be constantly sipping up throughout the day.
· Spice up water: You can things such as lemon, drink sparkling or mineral water to spice up your water. If you become a water drinker, you will find that different brands of water ACTUALLY have different tastes, so finding the water that tastes the best for you will incentive you to drink much more.
· Variety of Drinks: Like we said above, you don’t just have to drink water. Drinks such as a coffee and soda can help give you a break from water, while contributing to your water intake.
· Food: Also, we stated above that food can also have water and can contribute to your water intake, and this is quite true. Food such as watermelon is made up of nearly 100% water, and these foods can contribute to your water input enormously.
Can You Drink Too Much Water?
Now, this a factor you have to consider. Throughout this article we have drilled the point to drink water, and in contrast now we are telling you that just like anything good in life, there is too much of a good thing.
Too much water in the body can lead to hyponatremia, water intoxication and ultimately people have died from drinking too much water. Now these are extreme cases, but your body knows when it’s had enough water.
We can’t tell you when you’ve had enough water, as it really does vary to much, but listen to what your body is telling you, drink water, but don’t overload on water.
A really good quote by Prof Farrel of Monash University says” If we just do what our body tells us, we will probably get it right.”
This quote is very true, as we can give the general 8x8 rule and tell you to drink 2 litres of water every day, but there are so many factors consider that it’s impossible to tell you a specific amount of water.
Listen to what your body is telling you, and drink up!