The human body is about 60% water. Humans have been known to live without food for over a month, but after 3 to 5 days without water, you’re risking your life. Water is incredibly important, so that must mean that the more water you drink, the better, right? Not necessarily.
We often hear that everyone should be drinking about eight glasses of water a day. The fact is, there is no magic number when it comes to how much water per day you should drink. Every person needs a different amount of water based on body size, activity level, and environmental factors. Further, NPR says that drinking large amounts of water can actually negatively affect the kidney’s ability to filter out toxins.
Why Do We Need To Drink Water?
Water is essential to every single system in the body. Water keeps cells, joints, muscles, and organs protected and cushioned. Blood depends on healthy levels of water to move oxygen to all the cells of the body. Water also flushes out toxins, and keeps wastes moving from the body. Without water, the body becomes dehydrated, a condition that can go from mild to severe very quickly. Water also helps cool the body when exercising or when exposed to extreme heat. Drinking water helps replenish the body’s stores that are lost by sweating; without it, you risk both dangerous dehydration and heat stroke.
Daily Requirements Of Water
Your personal requirement of water is going to depend on a few different factors. But there are a few things to consider when trying to determine your requirement of water. First of all, men usually need more water than women. In a temperate climate, on average men should drink about 3 liters of total beverage per day, while the average for women is 2.2 liters. If you are exercising or participating in anything else that makes you perspire, you will need to drink more water. An extra 1.5 to 2.5 cups of water should suffice for exercise that lasts under an hour. More exercise means a higher requirement of water. Hot weather and higher altitudes are dehydrating as well, so take care to drink more water in either of these environments. Also keep in mind that all beverages count toward your daily water requirement, so go ahead and count milk, sports drinks, and fresh fruit juice in your water totals.
When it comes to drinking enough water, make sure to listen to your body. Humans have a great built in sensor that tells us when we need to get some water: thirst!
“Five Myths About Drinking Water”, NPR
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