Water is the most essential part of our daily diet. Just like every other nutrient, we need a specific volume in our daily routine. You may have heard that every one of us needs 8-10 glasses of water every day to keep us hydrated. This may be true for a particular individual; assessing the amount of water you actually need depends upon your age, gender, and physical conditions.
In this article, we are going to discuss that how much water you should drink daily, and what is the importance of hydration? We will also focus on how you can develop and maintain a water drinking routine and what perils dehydration can cause.
How much Water Should You Drink Daily?
Kids, adults (males and females), pregnant women, and breastfeeding women have different body needs, and thus they need a different amount of water daily.
Children – As the children grow, their demands for water consumption fluctuate. Kids are careless about drinking water, and it is the responsibility of their guardians to ensure that they fulfill their body needs. You can also give them their daily dose of water through other drinks, fruits, and vegetables rich in water, such as watermelon, orange, and cucumber. Let’s look at the daily water requirement of children according to their age group
4-9 Years:40 Ounces/1.2 Liters/5 Glasses (250 mL size)
9-14 Years:55-65 Ounces/1.6-2 Liters/8-10 Glasses (250 mL size)
14-18 Years:65-90 Ounces/2-2.5 Liters/10-12 Glasses (250 mL size)
Adults – Adult women and men have different needs and different body structures. The average water intake calculated by medical authorities comes out to be the following.
Adult Men:125-135 Ounces/3.6-4 Liters/12-16 Glasses (250 mL size)
Adult Women:90-100 Ounces/2.6-3.0 Liters/8-12 Glasses (250 mL size)
Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women – When women are going through these phases, their body demands change. They should drink more water than normal.
Pregnant Women: 75-85 Ounces/2.2-2.6 Liters/10-12 Glasses (250 mL size)
Breastfeeding Women:100-110 Ounces/3-3.2 Liters/13-15 Glasses (250 mL size)
Please note that it is not necessary to drink all the amounts mentioned above in only water, you need to complete the count, and you can do it by consuming other liquids as well. You can also rely on fruits and vegetables, which are high in water content.
Factors that Impact the Daily Intake
During a humid or summer season or some medical problems or depending upon your workout schedule, you may need to increase your daily water intake by 2-3 glasses. If you live in hot climatic conditions, you must increase your water intake. If you are suffering from diarrhea, vomiting, and have a fever, you must increase your water intake.
While you lose water while suffering from diarrhea and vomiting, you need more water to compensate for the loss, increased consumption of water keeps your body temperature in control during fever. It is best to drink electrolyte water if you are suffering from prolonged diarrhea.
Athletes, physical sports players, gym enthusiasts, and people who work in the open air during the summer season also need to drink more water to keep their bodies hydrated.
Importance of Hydration
USGS states that around 60% of the human body is water. Your brain and heart have 73% water, skin 64%, and kidneys contain 79% water. Your bones have around 31% water in them. What can be said more about the importance of hydration for us? Let’s look at the following few paragraphs to analyze the importance of hydration for your body.
Regulating Body Temperature – Water is needed to regulate body temperature. Your body needs to operate at a constant internal temperature. When the temperature outside is high, you need to ensure that you drink enough water to keep your system cool and calm.
Lubrication of Joints – As we already said that human bones are 31 percent water, you need water to provide them with nutrition. The bone joints also need lubrication to reduce friction among them. The working of human bones and joints is just like a complex engine, and if the engine is not lubricated, it can cause problems.
Infection Prevention – Water is needed to prevent infections in your body. By keeping the sensitive parts like tonsils, throat, chest, and lungs wet and lubricated, water ensures that they do not go towards the dangers of being infected.
Delivery Mechanism – Water acts as a delivery mechanism to deliver nutrients for cells to grow properly. If your body is not properly hydrated, the food delivery process will be slowed down, and it can lead to abnormal growth. This is really important for growing children.
Proper Functioning and Protection of Vital Organs – We have already outlined the importance of water for our vital organs. If your body is dehydrated for a long time or you are not drinking enough water for 3-4 months, your vital organs may stop working properly. Lack of water can result in poor cardiovascular health. Since your body has less blood, your heart works more to pump blood and provide your cells with oxygen, it results in excessive strain on heart muscles, and it can increase the chances of a stroke. Water serves as a cushion for the protection of vital organs. It keeps them safe from shock and works as a protection.
Kidney Problems – People suffering from kidney problems must never ignore the importance of hydration. Your kidneys filter out the water and then allow it to be excreted from the body. If they are not getting enough water for filtration, they will have to work more by retaining more nutrients and sending out less urine for excretion. Water is also vital in avoiding kidney stones.
Essential for Senses – Water is important for your senses to work correctly. Sound waves travel through fluids in ears, light is reflected through fluids in eyes, and food is dissolved and cooked in water for taste and easy digestion.
Smooth and Shiny Skin – Dehydration results in dry skin. It can lead to rashes and allergies. For soft, smooth, and shiny skin, make sure you drink the required amount of water.
Digestion – Drinking enough water also solves our digestion problems. Most of the constipation problems are related to the lack of fiber and water.
Sleep Quality – Hydration is directly related to your sleep quality. For you to sleep properly, your muscles should be relaxed, and you should be at rest and satisfied with yourself. Hydrating helps you achieve this. Water relaxes your muscles and keeps you fresh all day long; it helps in getting quality sleep for 6-8 hours.
Cognition and Mood – When you are dehydrated, your mood and cognition process are significantly impacted. A shortage of water results in irritation, and it can lead to less productivity in the office and at home.
In a nutshell, it is enough to highlight the importance of hydration that your body can survive up to 6 weeks without food and only 1 week without water.
How to stay Hydrated?
Some people want to stay hydrated but are unable to maintain a routine because of work and other activities. Some people are just unable to remember to drink water. We have mentioned some tips for you, which can help you to maintain a hydration routine and enjoy a healthy lifestyle.
- Keep a water bottle with you all the time while you are out for work. Use a refillable water bottle with an effective filtration to ensure that you can drink healthy water. You can fill it from any public water spigot as well.
- Adding a slice of lemon or cucumber to water can give you a different taste and bring some health benefits as well. Make sure you do not drink more than 2 glasses of lemon water in a day.
- Drink plenty of water before, during, and after a workout session.
- Drink water before having your meals. It can help you in maintaining a diet plan as well.
- Maintain a drinking schedule. You can associate certain events with drinking water in your daily life, like breakfast, lunch, dinner, going for work, coming back home, and then before going to bed. It will take some time, but you will be able to maintain a routine.
- Drink before you get thirsty.
Dehydration: A Peril
Dehydration is dangerous. It is the start of many severe medical disorders. If you are not drinking the needed amount of water, your body starts to show signs of trouble. The common signs include
- Body fatigue
- Slow cognitive skills
- Little or no urine
- Concentrated dark urine
- Dry mouth
- Extreme thirst
- Kidney problems
- Irritation and mood changes
What happens if you drink too much water?
Please keep in mind that you should not drink too much water daily. Please keep the total input of water in the limits we have mentioned above. If you drink too much water, it can result in a condition known as Hyponatremia. It can dilute the electrolytes in your body, and it can lead to symptoms like confusion, headache, fatigue, nausea or vomiting, excessive urination, and general weakness in your body.