Are you drinking enough water a day? Find out how much water you really need with this guide.
Why is drinking water important, and what are some of the benefits of proper daily water intake? Water is the life-source that fuels the processes of the body. NASA scientists search for water on other planets because it is an essential ingredient to all of life. Life needs water to survive.
In fact, the human body is composed of more water than any other substance. The brain is 70 percent water and the lungs are nearly 90 percent! In addition, your body must replace at least two liters of water a day to operate properly. This water is used for various biological processes, such as producing blood, eliminating toxins, protecting the brain and spinal cord, and lubricating the joints.
Without water, your body is forced to work harder to deliver oxygen through the circulatory system. That is because with less water, there is also less blood in the body. When you reach a point of dehydration, your blood pressure drops and you may feel fatigued, dizzy, or irritable with a headache.
How Does Water Prevent Dehyrdation?
Water is the most important thing your body needs to function, as each of our cells is composed mainly of water. Without it, we begin to sink into dehydration through lack of fluids and electrolytes. These electrolytes include minerals that cannot be replaced by any other source such as magnesium, sodium, potassium, and chloride.
Believe it or not, the fancy artisan waters may be worth the extra cash due to the naturally occurring electrolytes still present in these waters. Many purified waters or those sterilized through reverse osmosis lack these essential natural ingredients, and those added after the purification process hardly match the naturally occurring minerals found in artisan waters.
Should You Drink More Water?
“According to CamelBak Hydration Advisor Doug Casa, PhD, evidence shows that the body will compensate for a loss of just one to two percent of the total amount of water in the body by triggering the sensation of thirst and the cue to drink.”
For most healthy adults, the biological mechanism that prompts thirst works great in cueing the need for a drink. In fact, our body naturally craves more electrolytes when we lose these through perspiration.
How to Calculate Daily Water Intake
How much water do you need a day? The easiest way to calculate how much water you need daily is to use the base amount of your own body weight. Using your body weight in pounds, cut this number in half. You should be drinking half your body weight in ounces of water a day. If you are a woman who weighs 128 pounds then, you would need 64 ounces (128/2 = 64 oz) of water or eight glasses of water a day (about eight times eight-ounce glasses of water).
Use this formula to calculate your daily water intake:
(weight lbs / 2) = “x” oz of water a day
Divide your final number by eight ounces for the answer in cups.
There’s more to daily water intake than just the base number, and another factor is no doubt the temperature of the body and the total amount of force exerted throughout the day. Both of these factors lead to sweating, which expels fluids from the body at a much quicker rate.
Things to Take Into Consideration
When trying to find out how much water the body needs, keep in mind that sweating changes the numbers. That is, if you find yourself in a warmer environment, then the body naturally sweats more. You should add more to your daily water intake, therefore, according to the climate or temperature due to perspiration. On the other hand, if your particular exercise routine is strenuous or requires you to exert more force, this also leads to more sweating to lower the body temperature. Both factors should be taken into consideration, and you should add more fluids with natural electrolytes accordingly.
Not to mention, your diet plays a large role in the amount of water you need per day. If you find yourself drinking caffeine or alcohol, your body then needs more water intake to flush these out of the body. In addition, if you eat plenty of fruits and vegetables a day, these two things provide another substantial natural source of fluid.
Hydration Boosts Your Body’s Performance
If you exercise with a well-hydrated body, muscle cramps, fatigue, and shortness of breath are much less likely. That is because the fluids in your body work to keep each process moving smoothly, and your organs are able to operate more effectively. That is, the body’s ability to naturally heal itself is maximized with proper daily water intake.
Summer is almost here, so embrace hydration to beat the heat.