I am often asked how much water is enough? Well, that depends on each individual and what their lifestyle is. If you are an athlete, then more water is needed to re-hydrate yourself. If you do not work out, then the amount is lower.
Did you know that water accounts for over 60% of your body weight? Every organ and system in our body relies on water to survive. Lack of water leads to dehydration which can give you headaches and less energy.
Every person loses water when we breathe, perspire, urinate or defecate. We should replenish water frequently so our body can function and move properly.
So, how much water do we need? Most medical journals say 8-9 cups of water per day. This is a very vague rule and does not work for everyone. Lets review some other ideas for water consumption.
- Replenish: an average person normally urinates 6.3 cups a day. We also lose about 4 cups per day while breathing, sweating and defecation. Food accounts for about 20% of liquid per day so if you drink a little more than 8 cups a day along with a healthy diet, you can replenish any fluids lost.
- The 8×8 Rule: drink 8 ounces of water per day.
- Check your urine color: It should be clear or slightly yellow. If it is dark yellow, then this means you need to consume more water.
What factors lead to drinking more water per day?
- If you exercise add 1.5 to 2.5 cups of water per day. You will notice that you body will crave the additional water anyway after a workout. If you are a marathon runner or exercise excessively, it is recommended to add salt to the water because of the salt lost with sweat.Weather: Hot or humid weather can promote sweat and lose valuable fluid. Heat provided in the winter will dry out the skin and high altitudes (higher than 8,200 feet) can trigger rapid breathing and increased urination. More water should be added to you diet.
- If you are sick with the flu or have intestinal issues you may vomit, have diarrhea which will rapidly deplete water in the body. You may want to add electrolytes to the water to make sure you have energy after being sick.
- Breast feeding and Pregnancy: It is recommended to drink about 13 cups of water if you are breast feeding. Babies take a lot of fluid out of your system. If you are pregnant, it is recommended to drink 10 glasses of water per day.
Drink water…it is great for your body and mind!