Water Intake – How much?
How much water should be drinking a day? You probably already know the importance of water and how vitally important it is for our bodies. However, many adults are dehydrated and are even considered chronically dehydrated. There are a variety of recommendations of how much water we should drink and many times, those goals seem relatively reasonable. Unfortunately, we still struggle to get that water down.
Did you know that about 60% of the human body is water? With water composing more than half our structure, you can bet it’s pretty important. It is believed that the brain and heart are made of about 70% water. The lungs are made of about 80%, the skin is about 65%, and the muscles are about 80% water. Bones are even 30% water! Every structure within our body is dependent on water, so let’s help them out.
Factors in determining the proper water intake
Unfortunately, there is not a magic number that ensures proper hydration. Frustrating, we know. Water intake is based on a variety of factors that change from person to person. To list a few: gender, age, medications, physical activity, geographical location, and weight are just some basic factors that go into the determination of proper water intake. A general recommendation states that men need to drink about 100 oz of water per day and women need to drink about 75 oz of water per day. However, let’s remember that some of the factors listed above affect that general recommendation.
Regardless if you are a powerlifter, a marathon runner, or a daily walker, physical activity makes you sweat. When you lose water through perspiration, it is important to increase your water intake to replenish what was lost.
Where you live actually matters when it comes to water intake. Hot and humid conditions take water away from us just as sweating during exercise does. Therefore, hotter locations require higher water intake.
Age also plays an important factor when it comes to the recommended water intake. When babies are born, they are roughly almost 80% water! According to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, generally:
- 1-3 years old should drink about 35 oz of water (male and female)
- 4-8 years old should drink about 45 oz of water (male and female)
- 9-13 years old should drink about 57 oz of water (male and female)
- 14-18-year-old males should drink about 90 oz of water
- 14-18-year-old females should drink about 62 oz of water
Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women
It is recommended that pregnant women increase their water intake by 10 oz per day. Breastfeeding women should increase their water intake by about 20 oz per day.
So now that we have a general idea of how much water we should aim to drink daily, what happens to the body when we consistently fail to meet that goal? Common signs and symptoms of dehydration include:
- Feeling thirsty
- Dry mouth
- Dark-colored urine
- Few urinations
- Dry and cracked skin and lips
- Body weakness
It is important to also understand that not all fluid we ingest is aiding in hydration. In fact, some liquids are taking water away from us! Coffee, pop/soda, alcohol, and tea all pull water away from the body, promoting dehydration. When these substances are drunk, it is important to increase your daily recommended intake to put the water back that these drinks took.
Tips and Tricks to Increase Hydration
- Try to think about drinking 8 oz of water first thing in the morning and 8 oz before you go to bed. There you go! Easily have 16 oz down for the day.
- Remember you don’t have to chug water when you see it! Sipping on water frequently throughout the day is a great way to meet your goal.
- Carry a water bottle with you wherever you go. When you see water in front of you, you will be likely to sip on it throughout the day. Invest in a water bottle that will suit your needs. Of course, reusable is best, help save the Earth! Some water bottles now can link to your phone or smartwatch and send you reminders to drink. Technology can be used to help make our lives healthier!
- Once you know how many ounces your water bottle holds, finish the entire bottle before filling it again. This helps you know exactly how many ounces you drank and eliminates the guessing game.
- Add fruit, vegetables, and herbs to your water! This is when you can get creative with your flavors and make water taste different every day if you like. The longer the flavors soak in the water, the stronger the taste. Some water bottles have infuser tubes as well so you can take your flavor anywhere.
Water is truly vital to our well-being. By increasing our water intake we are helping our body immensely and it will thank us for it by giving us optimal health, energy, and focus so we can tackle the day with a positive attitude! Hydrate away, friends! Contact Miller Sports & Family Chiropractic today and work toward making your body as healthy as can be. We are haopy to review your specific situation and make recommendations for you as we also adjust your bodies alignment for optimal health,
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