Conventional wisdom tells us that you need eight glasses of water a day to be healthy, but is this true for everyone? The answer can be very subjective because every individual is different and circumstances are unique for each person.
The Institute of Medicine determined “that an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly about 13 cups (3 liters) of total beverages a day. The AI for women is about 9 cups (2.2 liters) of total beverages a day.” But there are also other factors that determine how much water you really need.
Proper hydration and exercise is crucial for good performance and injury prevention. People who do cardio need more water than a person who doesn’t, but a person who lives in hot weather will also need more because of sweat, and will need to replace liquids in the body. When we exercise, we sweat and lose fluids and electrolytes, especially sodium and chloride. Drinking the proper doses is important because not drinking enough water can result in dehydration, but drinking too much can also be dangerous. The overdrinking is called hyponatremia and this can lead to an imbalance in electrolytes.
Factors that can suggest more water intake
One’s lifestyle and diet can help determine one’s water needs. If you consume lots of fruits and veggies, they help keep you hydrated. According to the Mayo Clinic, food, on average, provides about 20 percent of total water intake.
Weather: If you live somewhere with high humidity, you may sweat more and therefore require more water.
Size and weight of the person: For example, a very tall basketball player will need more water than an average person.
Exercise: a long prolonged activity or an intense workout will require more hydration to prevent cramps. Dehydration is a serious situation, so listen to your body and drink more water if you need.
Pregnancy and breast feeding: For a woman, it’s a must to be hydrated for her health and for the baby’s health.
• When you wake up, drink one or two glasses of water.
• Before your meals, drink some water and you can also include a tea for dessert.
• When you exercise, always drink before, during and post-workout.
• If you exercise in hot cities, you will need more water.
Benefits of proper hydration
• Glowing skin
• Better body functions
• Helps digestion
• Helps lubricate joints
• Prevents muscle cramps
• Good for kidney health
• Can help reduce weight
• Can help to reduce cellulite
Listen to your body and drink your water!