Hydration – How Much Is Enough?

hydration

Perhaps your mum reminded you to make sure and drink enough water every day, telling you to get eight glasses a day. And you believed her…

But is that amount right?

It turns out that the answer is a bit more complicated than it may seem. Let’s begin with what you need to know about getting enough fluids.

The Benefits of Getting Enough Water

The mere fact that your body consists of about 60 per cent of water should give you a clue about its importance for your health.

Water is the engine behind so many critical biological and physiological functions. Adequate fluid intake ensures that your cells stay hydrated. It’s vital for the metabolism and transport of the nutrients you eat throughout your body through your blood.

Water also helps your body maintain the proper chemical balance of pH, electrolytes, and temperature.

That explains why humans can’t live much longer than four days without it.

The next question is how much do you need to survive and thrive? To answer that quandary, let’s look at the old adage of eight glasses a day.

Where the Advice About Water Started

The origin of the amount of water you need to stay healthy began with a 1945 publication by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences. The theory was that adults should drink 1ml of water for every kcal they consumed.

For an adult male that would translate into 2,500ml or 2.5 litres.

Perhaps you can see the flaw in this reasoning…

It’s too simplistic.

The amount assumes that all everyone eats the same kind of things. It doesn’t take into account other things that can affect how much water you should drink, such as how much you exercise and perspire. After all the fluid has to come from somewhere.

Remember that waste removal is also one of the benefits of drinking water in the first place. But, if that figure isn’t right, what is?

Listen to Your Body

The human body evolved with many mechanisms and hardwiring to help us survive—especially when making the wrong choice could be fatal.

Think about some instincts you have:

  • You pull your hand away from something that is too hot.
  • You might feel leary about trying new foods.
  • You may stop noticing a certain smell after an initial reaction.
  • You might fear snakes.

Likewise, your body has ways of communicating with you. That’s one reason you feel thirsty. It is your body’s way of telling you to drink something before it becomes a problem. If you’re craving something to drink, you’re probably about 1 to 2 per cent dehydrated, already.

Factors Affecting How Much You Should Drink

We should clarify one vital aspect of hydration…

When we talk about glasses of water, what we’re really homing in on is your total fluid intake.

That includes any other beverages you drink, such as your morning tea or elevenses. There is also plenty of moisture in the foods you eat. Leafy vegetables, for example, will contain 80 per cent or more water. Think about other things you consume like sauces, soups, smoothies, and other moisture-rich foods.

They all count towards your total fluid intake.

On the other side of the coin, there are things that can increase the amount you need. Working out will deplete your fluid volume quickly due to the increased metabolism of sugars, water loss from your breath, and perspiration.

All of these factors explain why the advice about eight glasses doesn’t tell the whole story.

Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Water?

For the answer to that question, we’ll turn to the Father of Toxicology, Paracelsus.

He famously remarked, “All things are poisons, for there is nothing without poisonous qualities. It is only the dose which makes a thing poison.”

It turns out that even water is poisonous if you drink enough of it.

The reason has to do with the electrolyte balance in your blood. The cells in your body maintain a balance between them and the fluid surrounding them. If you drink too much water, that dilutes the amount within them, causing overhydration.

Unless it’s corrected, it can lead to fluid accumulation in your body’s tissues—including your brain.

Tips for Getting Enough Fluids

Water is the best choice when trying to regulate your fluid intake. It’s much better than reaching for a can of Coca Cola, instead, to say nothing of the calories.

Plan on drinking a glass of water with meals. It’ll give your body what it needs for metabolism without risking dehydration. Reach for more if you’re going to tax your body with extra activity or spend time outdoors on a hot summer day.

Don’t like the taste of your water?

Consider installing a water treatment solution to get rid of minerals that may affect its taste. Stick with products that have a standard warranty to keep you covered in case it doesn’t work out for you.

Adequate hydration is imperative for good health. Your body cannot function without enough fluids to support the vital processes involved with just living your life without the added demands that you put on it.

Water is the best choice for keeping every system of your body running smoothly.

Author Bio
Buddy loves hiking and box, owns https://watersofteners.reviews, and believes in the power of nature and clean water.

1 Comment

  1. There always seems to be conflicting advice surrounding hydration and getting enough fluids, so thank you for ironing this out and for a clear post. I agree – listening to our bodies is important.