When you drink too much water, your kidneys can’t get rid of the excess water. The sodium content of your blood becomes diluted. It is called hyponatremia, and it can be life-threatening.
About 60% of your body weight is made of water. It would be best if you had it for every single body function. It flushes toxins from your organs, carries nutrients to your cells, cushions your joints, and helps you digest the food you eat.
If you don’t get enough water, you can become dehydrated. Severe cases of dehydration can cause dizziness, confusion, and even seizures.
The purported benefits of excess water consumption are seemingly endless, from improved memory and mental health to increased energy to better complexion. But that’s not correct; drinking water is not the only solution to everything.
How much water do you need?
Every day you lose water through your breath, sweat, urine, and bowel movements. For your body to function correctly, you must replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.
So how much fluid does the average, healthy adult living in a temperate climate need? The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is:
- About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day for men
- About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women
These recommendations cover fluids from water, other beverages, and food. About 20% of daily fluid intake usually comes from food and the rest from drinks.
From a nutritional point of view, water is a better choice than less-healthy options such as sugary sodas or fruit juices. But when it comes to hydration, any beverage can add water to your system. Fluid-rich foods and meals such as fruits, vegetables, soups, and sauces add to water intake.
How do I know if I’m drinking enough?
Your fluid intake is probably adequate if:
- You rarely feel thirsty
- Your urine is colorless or light yellow
Your doctor or dietitian can help you determine the amount of water that’s right for you every day.
To prevent dehydration and make sure your body has the fluids it needs, make water your beverage of choice. It’s a good idea to drink a glass of water:
- With each meal and between meals
- Before, during, and after exercise
- If you feel thirsty
How Much Water Should Kids Be Drinking?
Like adults, how much water children need depends on many things, their age, how much they weigh, and their gender. Other things that play a role include how healthy and active they are and the climate where they live.
In general, children and teens need about 6 to 8 cups of water a day. They should also eat lots of fresh fruits and veggies, which are full of water.
A good goal is to drink a half cup to 2 cups of water every 15 to 20 minutes during play or exercise.
The amount of formula or breast milk an infant takes averages 760 (ml), or just over 26 fl oz, of breast milk or formula milk each day until around six months. Before the age of six, plain water is not recommended.
It ranges from around 525 ml (just under 18 fl oz) a day for a 3.5-kilo newborn to 1,200 ml per day (45 fl oz) for an 8-kilo infant at six months or around 150 ml (5 fl oz) per kilo of weight per day.
It is proportionally far more than an adult needs. After infants start consuming solid foods, they need less fluid from breast milk and formula.
Benefits of Drinking Water Daily
Water helps to keep you healthy in several ways. When you drink enough, it:
- It enables you to remove waste from your body through your urine, stool, and sweat
- It helps your body stay at an average temperature, rather than overheating
- It helps protect delicate tissues in your body
- Keeps your joints cushioned and lubricated
Fast facts on water intake
- Foods and fluids, including water, are the primary source of water in our bodies.
- The advice to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day is not based on evidence.
- The amount of water we need depends on individual needs and circumstances, including activity and climate.
- The healthy body naturally maintains a well-tuned balance of fluid, and the thirst mechanism tells us when we need more.
Excess of anything is bad, so always consult a doctor and a dietician before incorporating anything.
Don’t forget to share this blog.