HOW MUCH WATER SHOULD I DRINK IN A DAY?

HOW MUCH WATER SHOULD I DRINK?

 

Irrespective of the actual quantity of water that must be consumed daily, we all know that we must drink plenty of water, every day. Some ‘experts’ would have us down a bottle of hour every hour, while others are (thankfully) aware of a condition known as overhydration

This conundrum ultimately begs the need of an actual definable quantity of this liquid wonder that a person actually needs to take in such that he or she remains healthy and gets healthier.

We all need water. There is absolutely no denying this and with summer waiting to knock at our doorsteps, the need to remain hydrated becomes paramount. However, do we really need to drink two litres of water in the morning, one more in the noon and three more during the day? 

Unless you wish to drown yourself, read on to know just how much water we need as adults to survive.


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The Importance of Water


It is rather safe to say that almost everything happening in our body requires water. From ensuring that our blood circulation is intact to complete our digestion process, from regulating our body temperature to removing harmful toxins in our body, water plays a role in every system in our body and is more than essential for our survival.


Dehydration is a condition where the amount of water in our body is less than it should be and is a rather common occurrence during blazing summers, when we perspire a lot and lose a lot of the water content in our body. 

Dehydration is no joke. Severe dehydration has fatal consequences such as swelling in the brain tissues which can lead to seizures. Without enough water in the body, the kidneys will not be able to function properly and remove toxins, thus causing them to eventually shut down. Hence, preventing dehydration is one of the most important reasons to drink more water.

Severe consequences aside, dehydration contributes to mental stress that results in irritability, confusion and anxiety. Needless to say, our wellness depends highly on our state of mind and if something as simple as gulping down a glass of water can set our mood right, why not just do it?


Water plays a very major role in digestion of food right from the onset of the process. Contrary to popular belief, the digestion of food starts right in the mouth when certain enzymes as a part of saliva start work on the food. To produce this saliva, which is an integral part of speech and communication as well, water is quintessential.

The rest of your digestion process, right up to the egestion of food also requires water for the right texture such that there is no constipation.


When you drink enough water, you remove harmful toxins from your body much easier, as the filtering process by the kidneys is made simpler. When consumed in the right amounts, water improves the efficiency of your kidneys and makes sure that it functions optimally.


If you are a person who leads a moderate to highly active lifestyle, i.e. perform physical labour, hit the gym regularly or are an athlete in training then you probably already know this. 

During stressful physical activity, your body burns plenty of calories along with up to seven percent of your body weight being lost as sweat. In order to regain your lost ‘water weight’, restore the minerals and fluid lost as well as maintain your stamina to continue performing such stressful physical activity, drinking plenty of water is important.

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How much?


Let’s now go back to addressing the main query here- how much water can be considered optimal? Well, the correct answer is that it depends on many factors. There is no single quantity that can be defined as the ‘correct’ amount of water that a person should drink, because every person is different.


Let us take gender, for example. According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine an average adult male should consume about 125 ounces of water in one day. This is about 3.7 litres of water in one day. This value, however is not exclusive to the water we drink directly. It includes the water present in all the food and beverages we consume as well.

For women, this amount is slightly lesser due to physical factors, the amount of activity involved and other similar factors. An average adult woman is expected to consume 92 ounces of water, i.e. 2.7 litres.

Studies show that an average person gains about 20-25% of their water intake every day from the food they consume and the rest through beverages including water as such.

So now let us break our values down and do the math. Let us first remove the amount of water that we get from our food, from the total amount we are expected to intake. For men, this leaves 2.96 litres of water and for women, this leaves us with 2.16 litres of water to be consumed from beverages.


Say, you drink two cups of coffee/tea a day, and perhaps a glass of juice. Together, these may come up to 750 ml approximately. Removing this amount as well from our previous figures, we are left with approximately 2.1 litres for men and 1.4 litres of water for women.


Hurrah! The math is done. We have deduced that as an average adult male you should drink about 2.1 litres of water, as water, every day and if you are a woman, 1.4 litres of water is what you need. Get chugging.

The amount we have deduced is significant but definitely not fixed. With your body weight, amount of physical activity, perspiration and external temperature, your need for water increases.


How Much is Too Much?


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For a generally healthy person with fully functional kidneys, overhydration also known as water intoxication is an ultra-rare but not impossible condition. Your kidneys, at their best, are more than capable of filtering out litres and litres of water in a day, even up to 6 whole gallons.

But here is the catch. The water in your body works in maintaining the balance of electrolytes in your body (i.e. sodium levels, potassium levels, etc). When you drink excessive amount of water, these essential salts get flushed out of the body with no way to replace them, unless you actively supplement them.

This leads to electrolyte imbalance in the body resulting in anxiety, seizures and other such conditions. Thus, overhydration is a serious condition so you might want to reconsider betting you can easily drink a whole tub of water.


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David Jones

03/20/19

You attempted to address how much water a person should drink (the right amount is 1/2 your body weight in ounces per day), but you did not address the critical point about hydration - the quality of water a person drinks. The amount doesn't matter much if a person is drinking a poor quality of water, because their body will be "spitting out" the water, making them go to the bathroom a number of times. Compare the PiMag water from Nikken to any other water out there and you'll be blown away!