Big news – you don’t need eight glasses of water a day. You may not believe me, but hear me out, because this comes from Harvard. Time and time again, we are told we need eight glasses of water a day. Now this isn’t a bad goal to achieve, but who’s to say that someone with a petite frame weighing 100 pounds requires the same about of water as someone much bigger? It doesn’t really make sense when you think about it that way.
Before I get into revealing how much water you need, let’s look at the importance of water.
Water helps control all major bodily functions, and without it, we’re just not the same. In fact, more than two-thirds of the human body is comprised of water, so it’s highly important to stay well hydrated. By sweating, crying, and urinating, water is continuously released, so we have to do our part putting it back in.
Studies have shown water can improve your diet, flush out toxins, improve mood, prevent illnesses like kidney stones, and even promote energy. As you can see, it’s quite important to consume adequate amounts of water if you want to maintain your health.
Let’s go back to the question of how much water we should consume. Water intake can range between four and eight cups a day, and it’s affected by our current health and activity levels. For example, an athlete or gym-goer will obviously drink more water than someone who is less active, because they are losing more water which needs to be replenished. On the other hand, for some patients with certain medical conditions such as kidney disease, thyroid disease, or liver and heart problems, it is very possible to actually have too much water which can increase the risk of complications.The general rule for a healthy adult is to drink two to three cups of water per hour, but if you fall into any special category such as exercising, having a medical condition, or taking certain medications, your water intake may vary greatly.
There are really only two methods then that can help you determine how much water you need: speaking to your doctor and looking at your urine. Your doctor can take a look at your health records and give you an approximation of how much water you require. Looking at your urine is also a good method because its color and sometimes smell will indicate your level of hydration.
When you’re well hydrated, your urine is pale-yellow or almost clear. The darker the urine is, the more likely it is that you need to hydrate. Monitoring your own urine color as your guide to hydration is simple, easy, and effective.
Although you can stick to the eight glasses of water a day to be hydrated, it’s also important to consider those other factors depleting your water supply, meaning, you may need to drink more. It’s also important to recognize when you’ve had enough, as having too much water can still pose a risk. The take-home message here is, water is important and that you should make sure you’re drinking enough of it.
Until next week,