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Recommended daily water intake

What is the recommended daily intake of water? There are no hard and fast rules that answer this question. It is true that water is very essential for good health, but the amount of water that one should consume on a daily basis is dependent on various factors such as one’s health, the region of residence as well as the activeness of a particular individual.

The guidelines mentioned below will help you choose your recommended daily dosage of water.

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The benefits of water

Water makes for up to sixty percent of the total body weight and is the main chemical component. All the systems of the body are dependent on water for their effective functioning. Some of the functions of water include the provision of a moist atmosphere for the nose, ear and throat tissues, the flushing out of toxins from the essential organs as well as being a carrier of nutrients for the various tissues and cells.

When the body is deficient in water, it can lead to a condition called dehydration which prevents the various organs to carry out their functions. Water is so important that even mild or moderate dehydration can sap the energy and increase the fatigue in individuals.

The need for water

Loss of water content from the body can be through many ways such as bowel movements, perspiration and urination as well as through the breath. Hence, in order for our body to conduct its function, we must refill its water supply through the consumption of foods and beverages that contain water.

As per the Institute of Medicine, an average man who is living in a temperate climate and is healthy requires around three liters or thirteen cups of beverages in a day. A woman under same conditions should have an adequate intake of around nine cups or 2.2 liters of total beverages a day

As the popular saying goes, “Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day,” one should remember to consume at least this much water in addition to other beverages for healthy living.

There are several factors that increase or decrease the recommended amount of water intake. Some of the factors are discussed below:

  • Individuals who are prone to heavy physical activity or exercise need to intake a lot more water than other to compensate for the fluid loss from the body. Short bursts of exercise require an additional 1.5 to 2.5 cups of water, whereas intense and strenuous workouts may require more consumptions f water and fluids. The duration of the workout as well as the amount of perspiration determine the quantity of water intake. In case one engages in heavy exercise, then it is recommended that such individuals intake a sports drink that has sodium during workouts. This will replenish the sodium content thereby reducing the risk of developing hyponatremia, which can be fatal. Once we have finished exercising, we must continue to consume water
  • Different types of weather conditions and environments also induce the loss of water through sweat and other means. Internal heating during the winter months and hot and sultry weather conditions induce greater perspiration leading to greater loss of water. Also, at higher altitudes, one may lose water through breath and excessive urination.
  • The presence of illnesses or other health abnormalities may lead to vomiting, fever or diarrhea, which results in the loss of bodily fluids. The presence of such ailments require additional intake of water. Sometimes, the doctor may recommend intake of oral rehydration solutions. Certain medical conditions such as urinary tract stones or bladder infections also require increased water intake. On the other hand, some medical conditions such as cardiac failure as well as some kinds of adrenal, kidney and liver diseases require individuals to decrease intake of water, as such conditions impair the removal of water from the body
  • Women who are breast feeding or pregnant require additional quantities of water as large amounts of water is lost during nursing. It is recommended that pregnant women should intake around 10 cups of water a day and breast-feeding women should consume around 13 cups of water a day

Other sources of fluids

Water is not the only source of water for the body. The food that we consume constitutes for around twenty percent of daily water intake. Fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes and watermelons are a great source of water for the body.

Other daily sources of water include beverages such as coffee, tea, juices, soda and even beer and wine. However, water is the best and the cheapest source of fluid for our body.

There are some precautionary steps that we can take to prevent the excessive loss of water from the body and thus avoid dehydration.

  • Make it a point to drink water before, during and after workouts.
  • Always have a glass of water or other beverages with each meal
  • It is also essential to keep in mind that one should not overdo the intake of water and should consume only the recommended levels of water.
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