Are you trying to boost your hydration but are unsure how to go about it because you’re not quite sure how much water is ideal for you to consume daily? You may have heard the very popular age-old adage that one must strive to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day. But that is not quite a one-size-fits-all type of deal.
Truthfully, you can quit obsessing over that eight-glass-a-day “rule” because it may not be what you need after all.
It’s a natural thing to ponder over how much water you should drink. It can cross your mind when you are feeling a bit thirsty or when your fitness tracker gives you a little nudge to drink up. And even if you are very diligent about your water consumption throughout the day, you may still wonder whether you are drinking enough.
Am I hydrating enough? Do I need to up my water intake? How many water bottles should I drink a day? These questions may be swirling around in your head because it may sometimes feel like we are just not taking in enough, and we should drink more, no matter what fitness and health goals we may have set for ourselves.
We always hear the message: “Drink more water.” But seriously, how much water is enough?
In order to stay healthy, we have to be sure that we are replacing the water that we lose throughout the day. Anything we do, any activity we take on – even breathing! – uses water, so making sure we stay properly hydrated is key to survival and being our healthiest selves.
The Importance Of Hydration
Staying hydrated is vital for the human brain to be able to function effectively. When we keep the brain hydrated, we are allowing it to fire neurons quickly. Without adequate lubrication, the electrical signals in the brain become slower. This makes it difficult for us to focus. So keeping hydrated is important to concentration.
Hydration is also vital for another reason — it is essential in maintaining healthy blood flow. The blood is the one that distributes nutrients to the brain and to the body. Without water, it cannot properly function. What this means is that without water, our bodies will struggle to carry oxygen towards the brain and body, which may lead to us experiencing sensations like headaches, brain fog, and cramps.
More Benefits Of Water
It is important to be mindful of how much water we should be drinking because humans need water, period. Drinking water keeps us alive, yes, and the two important things mentioned above very clearly prove that.
Aside from those two vital things, there are other reasons water is essential. Our body weight is comprised of between 50 and 70 percent water, so as you can tell, water plays a huge part in all our bodily functions. Water helps to remove waste via sweat and urine. It regulates body temperature. It also helps to cushion our joints. Going even further, the fact is that every cell and organ in our body needs water to function.
How Much Water Do You Need
Every single body is different. But most health experts recommend around 8 glasses of water each day, which would be equivalent to about 2 liters. That being said, studies have also shown that water intake goes much deeper and more specific than that.
Water intake requirements vary among individuals based on sex, age, activity level, and even other factors such as where you live and the climate. So how much water your body needs may actually vary per day depending on other factors and other things you are doing.
More recent studies show that the ideal amount of water is as follows:
- 11.5 cups or 2.7 liters a day for women
- 15.5 cups or 3.7 liters a day for men
If you live or work in a dry or hot environment, you may be losing more water through sweat, as these things can cause body water loss. If you are one who leads a highly active lifestyle or you sweat excessively, you need more water daily to replenish the water you lose. And then there’s the fact that the more you weigh, the higher your water intake needs to be.
What matters is focusing on replacing the water that you lose for a day. Adjust the recommended amount upward if you know you have a higher than normal loss of body fluids.
The average adult is said to lose around 2550 milliliters or 86 ounces of water each day through their skin, urination, breathing, and gastrointestinal outputs. So the main goal, really, is to balance your water input with your water output.
How Many Bottles of Water Should Be Consumed Each Day?
With all that data at hand, now comes the converting and calculating.
Disposable Water Bottles
Now, reusable water bottle sizes vary a great deal, but the most common size among them is about 24 ounces. So for these types of bottles, men would just need to drink a little over five water bottles, and women would need to drink just four water bottles daily. Less amount of bottles to empty out, and a kinder option for the environment too — that’s a win-win!
And here’s another big bonus: Drinking enough water each day can actually help to lose weight!
- Water aids in hydration, which in turn aids in the digestion process. Because of this, drinking water can help our bodies break down food more efficiently!
- Drinking enough water likewise boosts the metabolism, which can raise the number of calories that you burn per day.
- Drinking water can help in curbing the appetite, which then decreases the amount of calories that we put into our bodies. Oftentimes, when we think we are hungry, we are actually thirsty! So when you drink enough water, you are able to listen to your body better, which can help with losing weight.
Subtle Signs Of Dehydration
Here are some signs that you are NOT getting enough water into your body:
You Are Feeling Super Dry
When your body is getting little water and is begging for hydration, this can manifest in many signs of dryness. Some examples of this dryness are chapped lips, dry mouth, reduced sweating, dry skin, and even a lack of tears.
You Feel Light-Headed, Faint, or Have Headaches
Doctors believe that when hydration levels drop, your blood volume drops too. This can reduce the oxygen supply to your brain, which can manifest in the symptoms.
Your Muscles Feel Crampy or Weak
A general feeling of fatigue or weakness and muscle spasms and cramps can all indicate dehydration.
You Randomly Have Stinky Breath
A good tip-off that you need to intake more water is having bad breath. The bad breath goes hand in hand with dry mouth — saliva’s got bacteria-fighting properties, so when your saliva levels crash, so does the ability of your mouth to fight germs that cause odor.
You Find Yourself Feeling Confused
Confusion and delirium may point toward you being severely dehydrated. And if you experience these symptoms, you should reach out to your doctor as soon as possible.
Signs That You Are Sufficiently Hydrated
On the flip side, these signs can help you know that you are, in fact well hydrated!
- You do not find yourself feeling thirsty much
- The color of your urine is a healthy pale yellow hue
- Your tongue and your mouth feel moist
- Your skin is looking glowy and is not excessively dry
- You find yourself peeing around six to eight times a day
Is There Such a Thing as too Many Bottles of Water?
In a nutshell, yes. Experts believe that generally, anything that goes over 4 liters in a span of 24 hours can be too much water for your body. The body is in a delicate balance between H2O and blood salts. When we drink too much water, we can actually end up over-hydrating the cells in our bodies. This can be very dangerous.
So to make sure you also avoid overhydration, it is crucial to keep track of the amount of water you drink each day.
In conclusion, it is always a good thing to be more mindful of the amount of water you put into the body. And to make sure that you get the right amount you need each day, a great tip is to find a reusable water bottle that you enjoy sipping water from and carrying around with you. It will help you to take in enough water all throughout your day. Having a water bottle right there with you within arm’s reach can likewise aid you in keeping track of how much water you are drinking.