Health & wealthness
How Much Water Should You Drink?
As a rule of thumb, we’re often told to drink about two liters or eight 8oz glasses of water a day.
While this is a good rule to follow to ensure that you are not getting dehydrated, actual water requirements can vary based on a lot of factors. Under normal circumstances, the two liters are sufficient, but there are many cases where you might require more water.
Here we discuss when you should increase your water intake and why drinking sufficient water is not only good for you but essential for good health.
Why do we need to drink water?
Water makes up about 60% of our bodies’ mass which means that we have more water than bone and muscle in our bodies. The large quantity of water in our bodies is accounted for by blood, cerebrospinal fluid, intracellular fluid, and so on. The water that we drink helps to maintain our internal fluid levels and replenish water that is lost through urine and sweat.
If we don’t consume sufficient water, we start to get dehydrated. Dehydration can lead to the blood getting thicker and cells shrinking. To prevent any serious disorders occurring from dehydration, we need to drink enough water every day.
Why drink more water? Water is also used by the body to get rid of waste products. Cells deposit their waste into the bloodstream that then carries them to the kidneys. The kidneys filter out the waste and send it out of the body in the form of urine. Dehydration affects waste disposal causing toxins to build up in the body. Insufficient water can also lead to kidney stones.
When do we need to drink more water?
For most healthy adults who are not overly active during the day, the two liters is sufficient, but there are some cases where more water is required. Here are a few situations where it is advisable to drink a few more glasses of water a day:
Hot weather: We lose a lot of water when we sweat. Excess sweating due to warm weather can lead to dehydration which is why on a hot day, we should drink about 500ml to one liter of extra water.
Exercise: Exercising also leads to excess sweating and dehydration. Keeping a water bottle handy and taking a few swigs now and then during your workout will help keep you hydrated and replenish the water lost by the body.
Breastfeeding: New mothers need to drink at least one extra liter of water a day for milk production. One glass of water before and one after each feed should be adequate.
Illness: Certain illnesses like diarrhea, vomiting, stomach infections, fever, and so on cause dehydration. If you are suffering from any of these conditions, make sure to drink a few extra glasses of water each day. Add a sachet of electrolytes to your water as well to prevent dehydration.
Weight loss: Studies have found that drinking a glass of water half an hour before eating helps to decrease your food intake and boost metabolism. For those who are on a diet and trying to lose weight, adding a few extra glasses of water to your day could be a big help in reaching your goal sooner.
Saunas: Steam saunas make you sweat a lot. It is always recommended to carry a bottle of drinking water with you when you get into a sauna and to keep rehydrating while you are in there.
Swimming: Swimming, just like any other physical activity makes us sweat. While we do not realize this, we are losing water when we swim and must drink enough of water afterward.
Old age: As we get older, our bodies lose the ability to detect dehydration, and we feel thirsty less often which is why we should keep track of our water intake and make sure to drink enough.
Tips to help you drink more water
Here are some great tips to help you increase your water intake. In this way, you can make sure to get your full two liters a day or more if required.
- Drink when you are thirsty. Our body already knows when we need more water and communicates this to us by making us feel thirst. Don’t ever ignore your thirst and drink as much water as you need to quench it.
- Set a timer. To get your two liters of water daily, you need ten 200ml glasses or eight 8oz glasses of water a day. Set alarms or timers at different times during the day to remind you to drink your full quota.
- Keep a bottle handy. If you need to sit at your desk for long hours, make sure to have a bottle of water handy. You can make the experience more interesting by writing little notes on the bottle encouraging yourself to keep drinking water. You can also mark out levels on the bottle to denote one glass or a couple of hundred mils that you should drink at each time.
- Leave a bottle in each room. Leave colorful and attractive bottles of water in every room of your home so that you are encouraged to drink every time you enter another room. The more colorful or eye-catching, the more likely you are to notice the bottles and drink from them. Refill your bottles as and when necessary.
- Have a glass of water as your screensaver. Give yourself visual cues to drink more water by having a glass or bottle of cold, refreshing water as your screensaver or wallpaper on your computer or phone. Look at the picture a few times, and you will need to drink more water. And when the picture doesn’t help anymore because of conditioning, change it to another great picture of drinking water.
Water is indispensable for our health and wellbeing. Drinking enough water in the day is a must for our bodies to function at their best. It is also important that we drink good quality water that is free of disease-causing germs and harmful poisons. Jantzen delivers high-quality drinking water in the Klang Valley, Malaysia. With our water, you never have to go thirsty again.