The state of health depends significantly on the intake of sufficient quantities of water. But the question remains: how much water must be consumed during the day?
To be honest, there is still no simple answer to this question, as scientists’ recommendations in this area have changed over the years. The amount of water needed for each person varies based on different factors.
More on those factors in the following article down below.
The importance of water in health
A whole 60% of the human body is known to consist of water. Consequently, the wellbeing and physical survival of the body depends on regular water intake. Each body cell, tissues and organs shall be based on a sufficient amount of water to function properly.
The role of water in the functioning of the body is very important.
Here are some indications of the importance of water for health:
- helps in controlling body temperature;
- releases the body from harmful substances by flushing it through urination, sweating and intestinal function;
- protects sensitive tissues;
- moisturizes the joints.
Drinking plain water is very important, although you should understand more about the right amount for your body.
How much water do I have to drink during the day?
Insufficient intake of water leads the body to dehydration. This makes it difficult to function normally. Even a small dehydration is capable of significantly altering the physical performance of the body, manifested in a lack of energy and fatigue. So it is important to drink water, only – how much?
Every day the human body loses water, mainly through urination and sweating. In order for the body to function normally, the amount of water lost must be restored by taking a sufficient amount of water through the intake of drinks and water-containing meals.
In 2010, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published an official water intake recommendation based on age and gender.
For infants: 0-6 months to 680 ml (through milk); 6-12 months – 800-1000 ml.
For children: 1-2 yr. – 1100-1200 ml; 2-3 yr. – 1300 ml; 4-8 yr. – 1600 ml.
Kids (9-13 yr.): for girls, 1900 ml; for boys, 2100 ml.
Teenagers and adults (including the elderly): for women, 2000 ml; for men, 2500 ml.
For pregnant women: adult dose (2000 ml) + 300 ml.
For breast-feeding women: adult dose (2000 ml) + 600/700ml.
The National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine determined the amount of water intake required during the day as follows:
For women: 11.5 glasses (2.7 l);
For men: 15.5 glasses (3.7 l).
It should be noted that this recommendation also includes fluids which are taken with the help of various drinks and water-containing food. About 20% of the water taken daily comes directly from food and other drinks.
Factors affecting water intake
Based on various factors and activities carried out during the day, the recommended amount of water intake may vary. Find out more about what affects it below.
Sports and fitness
If physical activity is carried out during the day, which results in sweating, the amount of water lost must be taken. It is important to drink water during sports and before and after, using special sports bottles, it is convenient to drink from them in motion and it is easy to drink.
Environment and climate
In the case of hot and misty weather, increased sweating may be possible, which requires additional water intake. The same applies to high height – if you are in the hills, for example, and use a bottle of water for hiking.
Condition of health
The body also loses water significantly during health problems – if there is fever, vomiting or diarrhea. In this case, you should drink a lot of water and consult your doctor about the dehydration that has occurred. Other health problems, which include increased loss of water, include urinary infections and the formation of stones in the bladder.
Pregnancy or breast-feeding
Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding need to increase water intake during the postnatal period.
Feel what the body needs
The best advice we can really give you is to listen to your body before you start to feel dehydrated. Don’t follow only previously mentioned calculations – everyone is different and what works for one person, might not work for you.
Here’s some tips.
You are most likely to ingest the appropriate amount of water to your body if:
- You rarely feel thirsty;
- Your urine is pale yellow or, at best, colourless.
- A doctor or dietologist has set up a plan for taking the amount of water that is exactly right for you.
To avoid dehydration, try to get yourself used to drinking water regularly. Try to make water your priority and choice of drink, and your body will be grateful to you.
Recommendations on how to effectively take care of water intake:
- Drink one glass of water before and between each meal.
- Drink water before, after and during training.
- Drinking water if you are hungry – thirst often fools you by pretending to be hunger.
- Always keep a bottle of water next to you so you have something to drink.
- Find the best water bottle for yourself so it’s comfortable and handy for everyday use.
Is it possible to drink too much water?
Although it is not common, it is also possible to drink too much water.
In cases where the kidneys are unable to process the amount of water taken, the sodium content in the blood is diluted, which may endanger life. Such cases, however, are very rare.
Remember, the main thing is to follow your body and listen to it.