How much water should you drink per day?

You have probably heard that you should drink 8 glasses of water a day. In fact, the amount of water is chosen more individually than you think. Now scientists recommend that men drink about 2.9 liters of water per day, that is, about 12 glasses. They point out that women only need 2 liters, which is about 8 glasses. Even now, the answer to this question is not so simple.

The 8-glass rule is a good start in answering the question of how much water to drink. But there is no accurate, well-studied information to support the correctness of this method. Your body is 60% water. All organs in your body need water to function. Your recommended water intake is based on many factors, including your gender, age, activity level, and others such as pregnancy or breastfeeding.

We have downloaded recommendations for various groups of people, systematizing them into a table of the approximate amount of water depending on age and gender. And then the aspects of the positive impact of sufficient fluid intake for your body (supported by specific scientific studies) and tips for real life are considered.

Scientists now recommend that people aged 19 and over drink 3.7 liters of water for men and 2.7 liters for women. This is your total fluid intake per day, including everything you eat or drink, such as fruits or vegetables.

From this it follows that men should drink about 12 glasses of drinks, and women – 8 glasses (hereinafter, we mean glasses of 250 grams).

Recommendations for children

Recommendations for children are highly dependent on age. Girls and boys from 4 to 8 years old should drink about 1.1 liters per day, that is, 4-5 glasses. The amount will increase to 1.6 – 1.8 liters (approximately 6 – 8 glasses) from 9 to 13 years. For 14-18 years old, the recommended amount of water is 1.8 – 2.5 liters (that is, 7 – 10 glasses).

Women of reproductive age

For those who are pregnant or breastfeeding, recommendations will change. Pregnant women at any age should drink about 2.3 liters, that is, 10 glasses a day. Breastfeeding women should increase the amount to 3 liters, that is, 12 glasses.

Age How much water to drink : recommended amount (from drinks)
Children 4-8 years old 4-5 glasses or about 1.1 liters
Girls 9-13 years old 6-7 glasses or about 1.6 liters
Boys 9-13 years old 7-8 glasses or about 1.8 liters
Girls 14-18 years old 7-8 glasses or about 1.8 liters
Boys 14-18 years old 10 glasses or about 2.5 liters
Men 19 years and older 12 glasses or 3 liters
Women 19 years and older 8 glasses or 2 liters
Pregnant women 9 glasses or about 2.3 liters
breastfeeding women 12 glasses or 3 liters

These are approximate norms for average people. Naturally, the more a person weighs, the more water his body needs during the day. On average, we can assume that for every kilogram of body weight you need 30 milliliters of water per day , and for sports – 40 milliliters [in some sources you can find calculations based on about 28 milliliters per 1 kilogram per day, in others – 33 milliliters per kilogram, but these are numbers of the same order]. That is, with a body weight of 80 kg, you need to drink about 2.4 liters of water (and when playing sports – 3.2 liters) of liquid. At 70 kilograms – respectively, you need to drink water about 2.1 or 2.8 liters.

Other aspects

You need to drink more water if you live in a hot climate, exercise often, or if you have a fever, diarrhea, or vomiting.

● Drink 1.5 – 2.5 more glasses if you are exercising. Most likely, you need to add more if the workout lasts more than 1 hour.

● Drink more water if you live in a hot climate.

● If you live at an altitude of more than 2500 meters above sea level, you need to drink more.

● When you have a fever, vomiting or diarrhea, your body loses more fluid than usual, so you need to drink more. Your doctor may advise you to drink electrolyte drinks to maintain a stable electrolyte balance.

Why do we need water?

Water is essential for most processes in your body. When you drink water, you replenish your reserves. Without enough water, your body and its organs will not be able to function properly.

Benefits of drinking water:

● maintain body temperature within the normal range,

● lubricate and soften your joints,

● protect your spine and other tissues,

● Help eliminate waste through urine, sweat and feces.

Drinking water can also help you look your best. For example, water keeps your skin looking healthy. Skin is the largest organ in your body. When you drink plenty of water, you keep it healthy and hydrated. And also water contains 0 calories, so it is a great tool for weight management.

Increases energy and improves brain function

A lot of people say that if they don’t drink during the day, their energy starts to drop and their brain starts to work worse.

There are many studies confirming this (studies are not mythical, links to 20 specific studies are given below in the text of the article).

One study in women showed that a 1.36% fluid loss after exercise impairs mood and attention, and causes headaches (see Study 1 ).

There have been many more studies that have shown that mild dehydration (1-3% of body weight) due to exercise or heat can have a negative impact on many aspects of brain function (studies 2 , 3 , 4 ).

Keep in mind that even 1% of body weight is actually quite a significant loss. This happens mostly when you sweat a lot during exercise or heat.

Mild dehydration can also have a negative impact on physical performance, resulting in reduced endurance (studies 5 , 6 , 7 ).

Helps to lose weight

There are many claims that drinking water helps you lose weight by boosting your metabolism and reducing your appetite.

According to two studies, drinking 500 grams of water temporarily improves metabolism by 24-30% (see source 8 ).

In addition, it is better to drink cold water when you lose weight, because then your body will have to expend energy (calories) on heating the water due to body temperature. But this is a clear recommendation. For example, in the morning it is better to drink water that is slightly warm (about the same temperature as the human body).

Drinking water half an hour before meals can help reduce your calorie intake, especially in the elderly (studies 9 , 10 ).

One study showed that weight loss people who drank 500 ml of water before meals lost 44% more weight in 12 weeks than those who did not drink (study 11 ).

It is very important that you drink enough water, because this can prevent weight gain or obesity.

Additionally:

Why you will lose weight NOT from exercise? >>

A recent study conducted in schools proved that water consumption reduces the risk of obesity in children. They installed water fountains in 17 schools and taught about the benefits of water.

At the end of one school year, the risk of obesity decreased by 31% percent in schools where water consumption increased (Study 21 ).

Overall, it’s safe to say that drinking enough water (especially just before a meal) can have a significant weight loss benefit, especially when combined with a healthy diet.

We emphasize that we are talking about a sufficient amount of water. The myth that you need to drink more water in order to sweat more during exercise and lose more fat remains a myth and has nothing to do with reality. Therefore, the question of how much water you need to drink in order to lose weight is inherent only to beginners. You need to drink an amount sufficient for the normal functioning of the body, and not overpriced specifically supposedly for the sake of losing weight.

Continue reading 101 Tips for Weight Loss > > > .

Helps to avoid health problems

There are several health problems that increasing water intake can prevent:

● Constipation : Increasing water intake may help with constipation, which is a fairly common problem (studies 12 , 13 , 14 ).

● Cancer : There are several studies that have shown that increasing water intake reduces the risk of bladder and colon cancer, but some studies have found no effect (eg, studies 15 , 16 , 17 , 18 ).

● Kidney stones : Increasing water intake reduces the risk of kidney stones (studies 19 , 20 ).

● Pimples and dry skin : While there are no definitive studies that would definitely confirm or deny this, there is a common belief that water helps to moisturize the skin and prevent acne.

Risks of insufficient or excess water consumption Dehydration

Your body constantly loses fluid during sweating and urination. Dehydration occurs when your body loses more water than it receives.

Dehydration has symptoms ranging from extreme thirst to feelings of exhaustion. You may also notice that you don’t go to the bathroom as often, or your urine becomes darker. In children, dehydration can cause dry mouth or dry tongue, lack of tears when crying, and diapers that are less wet than usual.

Dehydration can lead to:

1) clouding of consciousness or unclear thinking,

2) mood changes,

3) overheating,

4) constipation,

5) the formation of kidney stones,

6) shock.

Mild dehydration can be treated by drinking water or other liquids. If you are severely dehydrated, you may need to be treated in a hospital. Your doctor will likely give you IV fluids and salts until your symptoms go away.

Hyponatremia

Too much water can also be hazardous to health. When you drink too much water, the extra water can begin to dilute the electrolytes in your blood. Your sodium levels will drop and this can lead to a condition called Hyponatremia.

Symptoms:

• clouding of consciousness,

• headache,

• fatigue,

• nausea, vomiting,

• irritability,

• spasms, convulsions, weakness,

• convulsive (epileptic) seizures,

• coma (unconsciousness).

Getting hyponatremia due to water is uncommon. People with small bodies and children have a higher risk of developing this condition. Also active people such as marathon runners who drink huge amounts of water in a small period of time. If you might be at risk from drinking a lot of water while exercising, then try drinking sports drinks that contain baking soda and other electrolytes to help replenish the electrolytes you’ve lost during sweating.

Water sources

Maintaining water balance depends not only on the amount of water you drink. Food makes up about 20% of your total daily fluid requirement. Along with 9-13 glasses of water, try to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Healthy foods high in fluids:

● Watermelon

● Spinach

● Cucumbers

● Green pepper

● Berries

● Cauliflower

● Radish

● Celery

 

Tips for Drinking Enough Water

You can drink enough water throughout the day if you drink every time you are thirsty and at meals.

Of course, advice like “Whenever you feel thirsty, drink” helps in most cases. But, if you exercise a lot, work hard physically, are in the heat or breastfeed, then you need to anticipate thirst: every time you just remembered water (even without feeling thirsty) – drink some water (after all, if you waited for the moment when you already feel thirsty, it means that you have already “got into debt” to your body a little, without supplying it with water in a timely manner).

If you need more help, you can use the following tips:

● Try to take a bottle of water with you wherever you go, including work, the gym, and even when you travel.

● Concentrate on the total amount of liquid, and specifically on clean water. You don’t need to drink the same amount of clean water that you need to stay hydrated. There are other excellent sources of liquids such as milk, fruit juices, tea and broth.

● Do not drink sugary drinks. While you can get all your liquid from sodas, juices, or alcohol, these drinks are high in calories. It is always best to opt for plain water.

● It is better to drink water half an hour before meals. But you can also drink while eating (not very much so that the digested food is flooded with gastric juice, and not water). It’s better to have a glass of water than to order another drink. This way you can save some money and reduce the number of calories per meal.

● You can add some flavor to your water by squeezing a lemon or lime into it (read The Benefits of Lemon Water ).

● If you exercise hard, try sports drinks. They contain electrolytes that will help you replace those you lose when you sweat.

● Start the morning with a glass or 0.5 liter of water to start the body’s metabolism after sleep (it is desirable that the water is a little warm, ideally – 36.6 degrees, as well as normal body temperature).

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