How much water a person needs depends on their physical activity, age and more.
Daily water intake
We lose water through our breath, urine, bowel movements and sweating. For our body to function optimally we need to replenish this lost water supply by consuming more water.
According to the National Academies of Sciences Engineering and Medicine an average healthy adult living in moderate climate needs:
1. About 15.5 cups (3.7 litres) of fluids for men
2. About 11.5 cups (2.7 litres) of fluids a day for women
3. This recommendation also includes fluids from other beverages and food. Around 20 per cent of our daily fluid intake comes from food and other drinks.
4. Drinking eight glasses of water a day sounds easy to remember and follow but it's not suitable for everyone.
5. Someone who spends all day in air conditioner and is not involved in any physical activity might need less than 8 glasses a day. While someone working in the Sun might need much more.
Daily factors that impact your water needs
Exercise: If you are involved in some physical activity that makes you sweat, you need extra water to cover the loss of fluids. When you are working out, have water before, during and after a workout. If you do intense physical activity, you can opt for a sports drink that can help replace minerals lost during a workout.
Weather: Hot and humid weather can make one sweat more and lose more bodily fluids. Sometimes extreme hot weather can also cause dehydration. Thus it's advised to keep sipping water and other cooling drinks in hot weather.
Overall health: Your body can lose fluids when you get diarrhoea and vomiting. Drink more water and ORS solution in this case. Some other conditions like bladder infections and urinary tract infection might also require you to take more liquids.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding: Women, when pregnant or breastfeeding, need additional fluid to stay hydrated. According to studies, pregnant women should drink about 2.4 litres of fluids and breastfeeding women need 3.1 litres of water every day.
Other sources of water
1. You don't just need to rely only on water to complete your fluid intake. Many fruits and vegetables like spinach and watermelon are also 100 per cent water by weight.
2. Other beverages like milk, juice and tea are mostly water. Sports drink also help in fulfilling the water intake. But one should have sports drink only when they are exercising. This help replace the lost electrolytes lost through perspiration and sugar needed to exercise more.
How to know you are hydrated
1. Your fluid intake is adequa
2. If you rarely feel thirsty
3. Your urine is colourless or light yellow
Here are simple ways you can stay hydrated
Drink a glass of water after every meal
- Drink water before, after and during exercise
- Thirst is often confused for thirst. Next time when you feel hungry after having a meal drink water.
Though it's very uncommon, it's possible to drink too much water. When your kidneys cannot excrete the water, the sodium content in your blood is diluted (hyponatremia), which can also be life-threatening.
Athletes are at high risk of hyponatremia. Drinking too much water is rare if you are having an average healthy diet.