How much water should I drink a day? 4 mistakes you should avoid now!

We have seen people telling to drink water as much as possible; few people tell to drink more than 8 bottles of water or sometimes we are asked to drink whenever our body demands. What is the correct amount of water we should drink? Is there any proper calculation of water intake for our body? I was always confused with the same question “How much water should I drink a day”? I did a lot of research and this post contains everything you need to know about drinking water.

Before jumping into the topic, let’s go through some basic stuff.

The human body contains around 55-75% of water which varies in the case of children, women, and men with different physique. As you might have understood, there is not a simple answer to the question “how much water should I drink a day?”

In case of newborn babies, the body contains around 75% of water, then it decreases slowly and in case of young people, the water percent in the body is around 60%, and in case of old persons, the water content in their body is somewhere around 50 – 55%.

Men’s body always contains more water than the women’s body.

How much water should I drink a day image 1

Where is so much of water hidden inside our body?

One-third of the total water inside the human body is present in blood, and in between the cells/tissues; two third of the total body water fills the cells and tissues. If a person has more muscles, it is obvious that the water content of their body is high. Fat people generally have less water content in their body as the fat cells do not absorb much water.

As per the Institute of Medicine, below are few recommendations and standard quantity of water one should drink.

Age
(in Years)
Amount of water
(in Ounce)
Amount of water
(in Litre)
4-8401.18
9-1355-651.63-1.92
14-1865-881.92-2.6
>191043.08

If you categorize by gender, here is the approximate quantity of water you should try to consume in a day.

GenderAmount of water
(in Ounce)
Amount of water
(in Litre)
Female722.13
Male1043.08
  • Pregnant women need more water and the water intake should be approximately 80oz (2.37 ltr) minimum.
  • The breastfeeding women should even drink more water around 104oz (3.08 ltr).

The above figures are an approximate quantity and are not limited to only water. Your body can get water from watery fruits and vegetables that you eat.

Here are few fruits and vegetables that contain the highest content of water:

  • Watermelon
  • Strawberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Peaches
  • Lettuce
  • Cucumber
  • Celery
  • Green peppers
  • Spinach
  • Oranges

Depending on various factors, you need to make changes to your daily water intake. For example, if you are exercising, you can have 2 more glasses of water into your daily intake. And, if you are staying in a humid area, then you should consume more water than usual. If you are sleeping late, then you must have one or two glass of water extra (not immediately before going to bed).

What happens when you don’t drink enough water?

In simple words, dehydration. Our body loses water in many forms like sweating, urinating etc. If you do not replenish the water loss of your body regularly, then there is a good chance, you can have dehydration.

The low water level in the human body can cause headaches, constipation, sleepiness, dry mouth, dry skin etc.

By the time you feel thirsty, that means your body is already dehydrated.

Why should you drink more water?

Here are a few advantages of drinking more water:

  1. Regulates body temperature
  2. Forms saliva in the mouth
  3. Lubricates the body parts
  4. Helps in producing neurotransmitters and hormones
  5. Helps reducing body weight
  6. Reduces body toxins
  7. Prevents stones in kidney and infection in the bladder

I hope these are enough reasons to start drinking more water daily.

Read Also: Coffee vs Tea: which is better?

Is drinking too much water harmful?

Despite having multiple positive effects of drinking water, one should not drink an excess of water which is equally dangerous to our body.

How much water should I drink a day image 2

What happens if you drink too much water?

Drinking too much of water dilutes the electrolytes in our blood which causes many disorders. Excess water also dilutes the sodium content in our blood. For the human body, the sodium content is balanced and should be around 135 to 145 millimoles blood sodium per liter (mmol/L). If the sodium content decreases, the cells inside our body start swelling as water flows to the cells to balance the sodium content. In medical term, this is called water intoxication. Though the water intoxication is rare, it can cause headaches, coma followed by death.

If your urine is completely transparent, you can understand your water consumption is high.

If a generic statement is given, then typically one should drink 25-50% oz water of your total body weight (measured in the pound).

Drink water in the right way:

  1. Do not drink water before or after or during your meal.
    The food does not get digested properly. The best time to drink water is 40 to 45 minutes after your meal.
  2. Do not drink chilled water.
    Drinking cold water shrinks blood vessels causing serious digestive problems. This also decreases heart rate. Physicians always recommend drinking water at room temperature or even slightly warm water is better
  3. Do not gulp down water fast.
    By drinking water too fast, you do not allow the kidney to absorb the proper amount of water. So, better to sit down and sip water slowly.
  4. Do not drink right before bed.
    This causes disruption in sleep because you may have to wake up in the midnight for a pee.
  5. Drink water after waking up and before brushing.
    Morning saliva is much more effective and contains certain enzymes that are good for health. This keeps you hydrated when you wake up and makes the intestine clear when you poop.

Also, keep in mind that to replenish the water content in your body, do not drink cold drinks which can have a more adverse effect on your body.

Conclusion:

Drinking water is good for health and is a necessity for humans and for all living creatures. But, drinking the right amount of water in the right way makes sense. So, make sure you follow the above-said points to lead a healthy life. I hope, now you understand “how much water should you drink a day?”. Cheers.

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