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How Much Water Should One Drink? [Your Sweet Spot]

Introduction

Where is that sweet spot? – How much of water should one drink?

It is known a properly hydrated body rewards your health, while a water deprived or an over hydrated body may put you at serious health risk.

Water is important for our body . However, when it comes to the amount one requires to stay hydrated there is no one size fits all. It will depend on your body’s need and the climate condition you reside in . Adequate Intake(AI) of water ensures a smooth operation of the body at its full capacity.

The results reported in this post are based on the median of total water intake across demographics based on US survey data  The reason being normal hydration could be maintained over a broad range.

Let’s delve in to find our hydration requirements at different stages of life.

Adequate Intake (AI) of  Water Among Demographics

Adult Male

The AI of water for young men (ages 19 to 30 years) is 3.7 L per day,

Adult Female  

For young women (ages 19 to 30 years) AI is 2.7 L per day

Pregnant Women

  • For pregnant women (ages 14 to 50 years) is 3.0 L per day
  • For breastfeeding women (ages 14 to 50 years) is 3.8 L per day

Children and Adolescent

Age AI of Water/
1-3 1.3 L
4-8 1.7 L
9-13 (Boys) 2.4 L
14-18 (Boys) 3.3 L
9-13 (Girls) 2.1 L
14-18 (Girls) 3.3 L

Conversion factors: 1 L = 33.8 fluid oz; 1 L = 1.06 qt; 1 cup = 8 fluid oz.

What Does a Properly Hydrated Body Do?

Water is vital for all important body functions. Human body consists of 60% water. An adequately hydrated body actively performs all the body functions.

  • Water helps digestion.
  • It carries oxygen and nutrients across the cell membrane for the cell to grow, and survive.
  • Water acts as the protector of brain and spinal cord.
  • It helps hormone synthesis,
  • It provides flexibility to joints.

Dehydration-What Happens When One Drinks Too Little Water?

Drinking too little water can cause dehydration.

The consequences of dehydration:

  • Causes mental confusion
  • Creates fatigue
  • Impacts cognitive ability negatively.
  • Poor immune function
  • Lack of sleep

Under severe dehydration cell shrink and if the condition persist eventually they die.

What Happens When One Drinks Too Much Water?

Drinking too much water can deplete your electrolyte that can lead to severe consequences like paralysis and respiratory problems.

  • Water intoxication from over consumption of water in psychiatric patients leads to side effects, and needs to be addressed promptly. Death from water toxicity has been reported.
  • Over consuming water >20 L/day can cause bladder problems.
  • Hyponatremia: It may occur with normal, increased or decreased extracellular volume. Common causes include diarrhea, heart failure, liver and renal disease. It could be life threatening. Contact your physician

Conversion factors: 1 L = 33.8 fluid oz; 1 L = 1.06 qt; 1 cup = 8 fluid oz.

What Does a Properly Hydrated Body Do?

Water is vital for all important body functions. Human body consists of 60% water. An adequately hydrated body actively performs all the body functions.

  • Water helps digestion.
  • It carries oxygen and nutrients across the cell membrane for the cell to grow, and survive.
  • Water acts as the protector of brain and spinal cord.
  • It helps hormone synthesis,
  • It provides flexibility to joints.

Dehydration-What Happens When One Drinks Too Little Water?

Drinking too little water can cause dehydration. Dehydration

  • Causes mental confusion
  • Creates fatigue
  • Impacts cognitive ability negatively.
  • Poor immune function
  • Lack of sleep

Under severe dehydration cell shrink and if the condition persist eventually they die.

What Happens When One Drinks Too Much Water?

  • Electrolyte Depletion

Drinking too much water can deplete your electrolyte that can lead to severe consequences like paralysis and respiratory problems.

  • Water intoxication from over consumption of water in psychiatric patients leads to side effects, and needs to be addressed promptly. Death from water toxicity has been reported.
  • Healthy people with normal diet do not suffer from high intake of water as long as fluid intake is approximately equal to the losses.
  • Bladder Problems

Over consuming water >20 L/day can cause bladder problems.

  • Hyponatremia: It may occur with normal, increased or decreased extracellular volume. Common causes include diarrhea, heart failure, liver and renal disease. It could be life threatening. Contact your physician if that situation arises.

 

When Does One Need More Than the Recommended Amount of Water?

  • Exercise,
  • Heat exposure
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Trauma
  • Skin burns

Where is Water Beyond Plane Water?

Water count per day can not only come from gulping plane water but from other water sources. Food and other beverages provide -20% of water. Here are some examples of those foods.

  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Alcohol
  • Milk and shakes
  • Fruit and Fruit Juices
  • Soups
  • Sambar
  • Rasam
  • Lemonades
  • Sugary beverages
  • Smoothies
  • Watery Vegetables
    • Cucumber
    • Lettuce
    • Zucchini
    • Tomatoes
    • Spinach, Leafy greens
  • Metabolic water

The metabolism in the body generates energy and water. It is not a large amount.

Around ~20% of the daily fluid intake comes from your food you eat daily. They could reduce your intake of daily water.

When Does One Need More Than the Recommended Amount of Water?

  • Exercise,
  • Heat exposure
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Trauma
  • Skin burns

Where is Water Beyond Plane Water?

Water count per day can not only come from gulping plane water but from other water sources. Food and other beverages provide -20% of water. Here are some examples of those foods.

  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Alcohol
  • Milk and shakes
  • Fruit and Fruit Juices
  • Soups
  • Sambar
  • Rasam
  • Lemonades
  • Sugary beverages
  • Smoothies
  • Watery Vegetables
    • Cucumber
    • Lettuce
    • Zucchini
    • Tomatoes
    • Spinach, Leafy greens

Metabolic water

Around ~20% of the daily fluid intake comes from your food you eat daily. They could reduce your intake of daily water.

Bottomline-How Do You Know One Is Adequately Hydrated?

Thirst may not be the control mechanism when you can hydrate. The reason being there are drinks like alcohols or sweeteners one drinks even without being thirsty.

Follow the results from US survey described above. Do not ignore your water from food intake and other beverages to add on.

Make sure you stay adequately hydrated. It is fairly easy to do which is affordable. Drink enough of pure or drinkable water for optimal performance of your organs.

Anusuya Choudhury

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