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
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.