One of the main components in our body is water, contributing to almost 60% of what our bodies are made of. On an everyday basis, we tend to lose this water content from our body, primarily through sweating and in the form of urine and stool.
While these are natural processes, it is important to make sure that we drink enough water to make up for the lost water and not get dehydrated. But do you really know how much water a day is enough and when it is a little too much?
The 8 x 8 Rule
One of the most common health advice you may have heard a lot is to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. As per the 8 x 8 rule, you should drink at least 8 glasses of water in a glass that measures 8 ounces (approx. 236 ml). This means, in a day, you end up drinking about 2 liters of water. Even though not all medical professionals swear by its benefit, they do agree that the 8 x 8 rule is easy to remember.
Factors That Determine Your Daily Water Need
For men, the recommended water intake for a day is 3,000 ml, while for women it is about 2,200 ml. Here are some of the most common factors that will determine how much water you really need to drink in a day.
1. Weather And Where You Stay
Your body’s need for water has a lot to do with the place you stay and the overall climate. If you are in a hot and humid weather, you will sweat more, which means you need to drink more water to prevent dehydration. If you are in a cold climate and spend a lot of time indoors in a heated environment, you will still need to drink plenty of water to avoid your skin getting dehydrated. If you live in a high altitude which is higher than 8200 feet, you will lose a lot of water content through frequent urination and breathing and will need to drink more water.
2. Pregnancy Or Lactating Women
If you are pregnant or a breastfeeding mom, you will frequently lose a lot of your body fluids, which could easily lead to dehydration. During pregnancy and breastfeeding, you have to make sure you are always properly hydrated, to maintain your and your baby’s well-being. It is recommended that you have at least 10 cups of water a day if you are pregnant, and 13 cups of water if you are breastfeeding.
3. Amount Of Exercise
Depending on whether you exercise or not and what intensity you work out at, your body’s needs for water will also vary. The more you exercise and sweat, the more water you should drink to replenish what’s lost. If you are doing regular exercise for a small duration, add 2 to 3 cups more to what you ideally have. However, if you are into intense exercising, or exercise for more than an hour, you will need more water.
4. Thirst And Hunger
Your body has its own way of telling you that it is time to have some water. So, each time you feel the slightest sign of thirst, make sure you have a glass of water. Also, if you feel hungry even though you just had something to eat, it could be a sign of thirst from your body, instead of hunger. Sip a glass of water and in most cases, you’ll not feel the hunger pang.