How Much Water Should I Drink?
You know that water is important to your health. After all, you are made of 70% of water. But, have you ever wondered how much water should I drink?
It’s a question that a lot of people ask. There are different opinions from scientists and health gurus.
Because of this, a surprising amount of people struggle with getting the proper water intake every day. This means that you can get dehydrated and it can damage your health. You can even drink too much water, if you can believe it.
Why is the amount of water you drink so important?
Exactly How Much Water Should I Drink?
“How much water should I drink?” Well, we all have heard that 8 cups of water a day is the proper amount to drink, but is that accurate?
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) suggests that men drink around 104 ounces of water a day. That’s around 13 cups. Women should have 72 ounces, which is 9 cups. That’s a little more than 8 a day.
Though, different scientists have different opinions of how many cups to drink. Most doctors and scientists say that it’s best to listen to your body to see how much you should drink.
You also need to drink more water if you are vomiting, have a fever, or have diarrhea. You need more water if you live in warmer areas as well.
This is because vomiting, sweating, and the like cause your body to lose water quicker than it should. This can lead to dehydration.
How Water Affects Your Body
Water affects your body in a number of ways. It keeps your body temperature normal, it lubricates and pads your joints, it protects your spine and tissue, and helps you get rid of waste. You get rid of waste through urine, sweat, and bowel movements.
It also makes you look nicer too. It keeps your skin healthier and smoother.
Drinking plenty of water is also supposed to help prevent:
- High Blood Pressure
- Dry Cough
- Dry Skin
Though there is not a lot of scientific evidence to prove this.
How You Get Dehydrated
Dehydration is when you don’t have enough water in your body. You lose fluid through the reasons listed above and even through breathing.
Sweating is your body’s way of cooling down when it’s overheating. When you’re hot, your sweat glands activate to let go of moisture from your body to cool down. As sweat evaporates from your skin, it takes a little bit of heat with it.
The more sweat you make, the more heat is released.
It helps hydrate your skin and maintains your electrolytes in your body too.
When you don’t feel good and it causes you to throw up or have diarrhea, you can get dehydrated easily. This is because those actions make you lose a lot of water in a short amount of time.
You also lose electrolytes as well.
Fevers also cause you to lose a lot of fluid. Because you are so overheated, you sweat a lot, and then get dehydrated.
It also doesn’t help that when you don’t feel good, you can’t drink water quickly to balance yourself out.
This is a natural process to get rid of toxins in your body. If you have any conditions that make you pee more often, you can get dehydrated if you don’t replace those fluids fast enough.
Symptoms Of Dehydration
Symptoms of this can be that you are really thirsty or super tired. You may not pee as much as you usually do. You may also notice that your urine is darker in color too.
Dehydration can cause:
- Brain Fog
- Mood Changes
- Dry Mouth
- Increased Thirst
- Kidney Stone Formations
- Rapid Heartbeat
When you are mildly dehydrated, it can be treated by drinking a lot of water. If you are really dehydrated, you will need to go to the hospital and get IV fluids.
Dehydration can kill you if you let it get too far. Your body cannot survive without water.
How Much Water Should I Drink? Can I Have Too Much Water?
Surprisingly yes, you can drink too much water. It’s called water intoxication. Too much water can dilute the electrolytes in your blood. It can cause your sodium levels to decrease and lead to hyponatremia.
Sodium helps balance fluids between the inside and the outside of your blood cells. When it can’t do that, the cells will start to swell. This is can be life threatening if it happens to the brain cells.
Too much water means that you are drinking more than your kidneys can get rid of. It’s not just about how much water you drink, but how fast you drink it too. If you drink a lot in a short amount of time, you can get water intoxication.
The kidneys are able to get rid of up to 7 gallons of fluid a day. They can’t filter more than a liter an hour.
- Double Vision
- Muscle Spasms, Cramps, or Weakness
- Brain Swelling
- Lung Congestion
Children are more likely to get this. People who do a lot of exercise can also get it because they drink a lot of water in a short amount of time.
You probably have enough water in your system if you don’t feel thirsty or your urine is colorless or light yellow.
5 Ways To Spice Up Your Water
The number one reason people don’t drink enough water is because they don’t like the taste. Many people will find that it’s too boring. There are plenty of ways that you can spice up your water to make it tasty.
1. Add Fruit
Fruit is a nice healthy addition to your water. It flavors it and makes it easier to drink. You can pick your favorite fruit like strawberries, oranges, watermelon, and more.
You can get a special water bottle with a place to hold the fruit. There is also just tossing them in any bottle. Some people prefer the special bottle because they don’t want to have chunks of fruit in their drink.
2. Add Juice
Any juice will work as a flavor base. Though people find that tart juices like cranberry, pomegranate, grape, and apple are particularly good.
3. Add Herbs
Herbs can also add some flavor to your water. You can choose to add individual herbs or a bag full of them. Herbs like rosemary, mint, basil, and lavender are good options.
You can even them mix them with fruit to get a bigger flavor.
4. Try Sparkling Water
Even though it’s still water, the texture is different thanks to the bubbles. Sparkling water often comes with a lot of minerals and the benefits that come with them.
Some people also like it for the carbonation aspect. It feels lighter to drink, therefore it makes you feel lighter as well. Sparkling water is a great alternative to soda, if you need to break your soda habit.
You can also add fruit and juice to this type of water as well.
5. Get Creative With Ice Cubes
If it’s a hot day and you want to make your drink cool, you’ll use ice right? Well, you can get creative with your ice. You can freeze some fruit juice and use them instead of plain water.
It will slowly flavor your water while keeping you cool.
You can also use mint or cucumber too.
Now You Know How Important Water Is
Water is a very powerful tool to stay healthy. It’s easy to take it for granted. As mentioned before, many people find it too plain to drink with all the other flavored drinks out there. It’s understandable.
But, you don’t just need to drink water to get hydrated. You can also get fluids from eating. Foods like watermelon, cucumbers, and more have a lot of water in them.
There really is no excuse to not keep yourself hydrated. You can get fluid from eating or drinking, you can spice up your drink with fruits or juice. It’s the easiest way to keep yourself happy and healthy.
But at the same time, there are plenty of recipes out there that can make water more enticing to drink. Some blogs are dedicated to these types of specific recipes.
Though be careful not to drink too much water. Many people probably don’t realize that they can have that problem. So, when you are wondering, “How much water should I drink?”, think of a nice balance of too little and too much.
If flavor isn’t the problem, then it might just be a matter of forgetting to drink. You can set an alarm on your phone for every few hours to remind yourself to grab a glass. Create a routine and you can soon make it a habit.
Hopefully you will find a way to get your proper intake that works for you.