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How Much Water to Drink?

Water is the most important thin your body needs to survive. Without water you would die in a few days. Every form of life depends on water for survival. It is a vital part of all kinds of metabolic processes within our bodies and the bodies of other forms of life. We use up a lot of our water during the digestion of food and about 72% of the fat free mass of the human body is water.

How Much Water to Drink for Proper Function and Hydration?
Because we rely so greatly on water, it is absolutely vital to consume somewhere between one and seven liters of water to stay hydrated and avoid dehydration. Physicians, dieticians and nutritionists have agreed that drinking eight eight ounce glasses of water a day (64 ounces) is best for proper hydration, although this has not been scientifically proven. It is, however, the Recommended Daily Intake and is most likely sufficient for proper hydration. A recent report by the National Research Council has recommended humans consume 2.7 liters of water total for women and 3.7liters of water for men in not only liquid form but also from food sources.

The Amount Of Water Needed Depends on Lifestyle
How much water to drink really depends on several factors and can change based on the individual person. The exact amount of water necessary for proper functioning depends on a person’s level of physical activity, the climate and temperature, humidity, and proper kidney functioning, among other factors. Water is taken from the body through sweat, urine, feces, and by water vapor that leaves the body through breathing. Obviously, a person who sweats for an hour while jogging needs more water than a person who leads a very sedentary lifestyle, just as a person in a very humid climate may not need as much water as someone in the dry desert.

Is It Possible to Drink Too Much Water?
For the average person, it is highly unlikely that you will drink too much water. Your body will expel water quickly through urination, making it very difficult to drink too much. In fact, it is more likely that you will dangerously harm your body if you drink too little water. There are however, two cases where you may damage your body by consuming too much water.

When people are exercising, they may feel the need to drink a lot of water because they feel thirsty or are sweating a lot. This can be dangerous if exercisers or athletes drink more water than needed during exercise. A person who consumes too much water during exercise may run the risk of water intoxication, which can be fatal. According to the Annals of Internal Medicine, a research report on marathon runners found that some developed brain swelling due to water intoxication. They had taken in too much water while running which caused their sodium levels in the blood to drop drastically. When this happens the extra water is absorbed into the blood which causes fluid to build up in the brain. This fluid also accumulates in the lungs, causing runners and other athletes to become nauseous and out of breath. It is important to slowly hydrate yourself during exercise. It has been recommended that you drink a cup extra of water for each hour of exercise.

Another possible way to drink too much water is if your kidneys are not functioning properly. Improper functioning of the kidneys can allow an excess of water to build up. If this is the case, those with kidney problems should discuss how much water to drink with their physician.

People need water for survival on proper body functioning buy people need to make sure that their water does not contain too much sodium or other impurities such as chemicals or harmful bacteria. Although, many things have been added to drinking water to better the taste of water and provide essential electrolytes. If drinking water from an unkown source, make sure you put the water through a filtration device or boil the water to kill bacteria and chemicals.

Chances are, if you stick to the recommended eight glasses of water a day, you will be in pretty good shape and your body will stay hydrated. But, remember to take into account physical exercise, climate, and any medical conditions. Your best advice would be to discuss your water intake with a physician or dietician to find out the best amount of water to drink for your specific circumstance.

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