Water – How Much Do I Really Need to Drink?

7th February 2018

Water is essential for life. You can only survive a few days without it. And being hydrated is essential for health. I could argue that water is the most essential nutrient of them all. Water is needed for every cell and function in your body.

 

Water is a huge part of your blood; it cushions your joints and aids digestion. It helps stabilise your blood pressure and heart beat. It helps to regulate your body temperature and helps maintain electrolyte (mineral) balance. And that’s just a few of its roles.

 

Dehydration can impair mood and concentration, and contribute to headaches and dizziness. It can reduce your physical endurance, and increase the risk for kidney stones and constipation. Extreme dehydration can cause heat stroke.

 

So, water is critical for life and health.

 

But, just as way too little water is life-threatening, so is way too much. As with most things in health and wellness, there is a healthy balance be reached.

 

But, there are conflicting opinions as to how much water to drink. Is there a magic number for everyone? What counts toward water intake?

 

Let’s dive right in.

 

How much water do I need?

 

Once upon a time, there was a magic number called “8×8.” This was the recommendation to drink eight-8 oz glasses of water every day;  that’s about 2 liters of water.

 

Over time, we’ve realised that imposing this external “one size fits all” rule may not be the best approach.

Here is how to work out your specific daily water intake:

Per 50 lbs you weigh you will need to drink 1 Litre of water per day. For example if you weigh 200 eps your daily water intake should be 4 Litres per day.

Now, we recommend drinking according to thirst. You don’t need to go overboard forcing down glasses of water when you’re not thirsty. Just pay attention to your thirst mechanism. We have complex hormonal and neurological processes that are constantly monitoring how hydrated we are. And for healthy adults, this system is very reliable.

 

Besides thirst, pay attention to how dark and concentrated your urine is. The darker your urine, the more effort your body is making to hold on to the water it has. Urine is still getting rid of the waste, but in a smaller volume of water, so it looks darker.

 

There are a few other things to consider when evaluating your hydration status. If you’re sweating a lot, or are in a hot/humid climate drink more. Breastfeeding moms, elderly people, and people at risk of kidney stones need to drink more water too. So do people who experience vomiting and/or diarrhea, as both can quickly dehydrate our bodies.

 

So, ditch the “one size fits all” external rule, and pay more attention to your body’s subtle cues for water.

 

Conclusion

 

There is no magic number of the amount of water you need. Everyone is different. Children, pregnant women, elderly people need more.  Episodes of vomiting or diarrhea will also increase your short-term need for more water.  The most important thing is to pay attention to your thirst. Other signs you need more water are dark urine, sweating and constipation.

Use this formula to work out your daily water requirements: Per 50 lbs you weigh you will need to drink 1 Litre of water per day. For example if you weigh 200 eps your daily water intake should be 4 Litres per day.

 

Water is your best source of fluids.

 

Recipe (Hydration): Tasty hydrating drinks with flavour

 

You may not love the taste (or lack thereof) of plain water. One thing you can do is add some sliced or frozen fruit to your water.  Here are some of my favorite herbal teas you can drink hot or cold.

 

 



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