How Much Water Do You Really Need?
H2O is probably one of the best liquids you can replenish your body with. Eight 8-ounce glasses is the daily recommendation, but do some people require more or less?
“Water is an essential nutrient for life. Despite numerous studies, there hasn’t been a consensus of the exact amount of water a person should consume,” says Angela Ginn, registered dietitian nutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in Baltimore, Maryland.
“The Institute of Medicine recommends 13 cups for men and nine cups for women. This recommendation may change based on your height, weight, activity level, and overall health … aiming for eight cups a day is a great start for everyone.”
There’s no doubt that proper hydration is important for the body. After all, water re-energizes the muscles, prevents tired and achy joints, and helps to eliminate toxins from the blood, just to name a few.
But, the reality is that water consumption requirements vary with each individual and depend on several factors, including age, gender, weight, health status, physical activity levels, and environment (temperature and humidity levels).
As a general rule of thumb, if you exercise regularly and/or live in a hot climate, you should probably aim for more than eight glasses of water a day.
According to several health websites, your water intake should be half of your body weight. For instance, if you weigh 150 pounds, you would need 75 ounces of water per day. However, there isn’t any scientific evidence to support this recommendation.
It’s also important to point out that the eight-8-ounce-glasses-a-day recommendation doesn’t include the water content of food. Fruits, vegetables, and soups/broths are high-water-content foods and should be counted toward your daily water intake.
When it comes to water consumption, the best advice is let your thirst be your guide. If you’re thirsty, take another sip. Not thirsty? Don’t take another sip. It’s that simple! Chugging down excess water is not only unnecessary, it’s dangerous.
Be sure to consult with your doctor before increasing your water intake.