People that are concerned about their health often contemplate this question of how much water they should be drinking every day. Are they subconsciously dehydrating themselves, or are they merely drinking way too much? The possibilities are endless.
Adult Males and Females
According to the U.S. National Academies, an average male needs to consume about 3.7 liters of water that measure up to 15 cups (If one cup contains 250 milliliters or 8 ounces). In contrast, an average female would require to consume 2.7 liters or 11-12 cups. However, the estimate varies according to size, height, health conditions, and weather conditions.
It is an estimate based on an adult’s average height and weight, which might not be a case for every individual, and this amount of water might not be enough. For instance, an average male who weighs 176 Lbs. and is of 5”10 height can consume 3.7 liters, which would be sufficient for him, but this amount would not suffice for underweight or obese males.
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As the body profile differs, so do the needs of that specific body. Given that our body comprises 60% water, consuming less water can lead you to severe medical conditions, apart from just dehydration. You might get obese. Your bowel function might get sluggish, or be frank, some “other” things you might not like. A sign for the wise 😉
For Kids and Teens
The rules are different for kids and teens as they don’t have fully developed bodies. If they aren’t drinking the same amount as an adult doesn’t mean that they are dehydrated. Starting with babies, they cannot drink normal water until up to 6 months after their birth and have to solely live on breast milk as advised by custom and backed by science.
Adding more, Toddlers should consume up to 4 cups while kids of ages 4-8 years should consume 5 cups. Almost 550-650 milliliters are sufficient. However, teens should drink a larger amount of about 8 cups as their bodies are in developing stages. And late teens should consume 11-12 cups as they are nearing adultness.
As kids do not like to drink water usually, Try to make them consume water in other ways like adding fruits and vegetables to their diets. Also, it’s worth noticing that some fruits and vegetables have higher water content with minerals and nutrients packed up, while some lack in one of the contents given above. Try feeding them fruits that have either.
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Furthermore, they can drink milk, which is filled with calcium and a very healthy hydration source because of its fluid composition. Juices are also good, but parents usually use processed juices. Hence, they have artificial flavors, high in calories, and not healthy in the longer run.
Can You Over Hydrate?
Over-hydration is not very common because it’s relatively painful. Usually, over-hydration occurs in athletes who get a bit too greedy in improving their performance, putting needless water content in their bodies, which consequently messes up the electrolytes and the salts in their bodies.
It leads to severe issues like nausea, vomiting, seizures, and convulsions. The kidneys inside the human body can only filter so much water per hour, and if that amount exceeds, then the system’s failure occurs.
Anyone can check if they are properly hydrated or not by seeing the color of their urine. If it is pale yellow or clear, they are hydrated, and if they don’t feel any signs of thirst, they are fine as long as hydration is concerned.
However, Excess consumption of water can cause ‘Hyponatremia’, when the kidney is unable to filter the excess water. The sodium content of blood becomes diluted with a lot of water, consequently leading to life-threatening conditions. As you must have heard:
Everything is poison when in access
The same goes for water.
Health Benefits of Drinking Water
Water is essential for our body, and no other fluid is as good of a substitute for it. It helps keep us fresh, helps maintain our energy, regulates body temperature, and even helps us maintain/lose weight.
Firstly, after a physical activity session such as sports or working out, the body’s temperature is high, and the body is sweating; thus, the body is dehydrating. Drinking water can hydrate the body and also do cooling to regulate the high temperature. Again, you can lift exhaustion and brain fog if you consume water after strenuous activity.
Water further boosts our metabolism briefly after consuming, although not significantly. Also, drinking water in the morning helps boost your metabolism and increase the resting caloric burn. Even drinking water before meals can help you feel fuller soon. Pretty handy if you’re diet conscious!
It helps people feel satisfied and stick to healthy foods of adequate portions rather than binging on junk food that fuels appetite. People who habitually drink water before their meals and keep themselves hydrated are more successful in losing weight than other dieters.
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Drinking water has many other benefits, hydration of skin keeps its health, and thus it is essential for the outer aesthetic beauty as it keeps the skin and hair shining and radiant. Adding to that, It elevates irritation and flushes out impurities from the body, even though that is the liver’s primary function, but adequate water is essential for it to function.
Hydration In Alarming Situations
Dehydration can mess up bodily functions; It isn’t always because a person isn’t consuming water. For instance, there may be various reasons: people suffering from some sickness that involves dehydration, such as vomiting or diarrhea. Experts advise water mixed along with some electrolytes in such cases. The condition can lead to lightheadedness, dizziness, exhaustion, dry skin, and even unconsciousness.
The signs of dehydration are very apparent such as fueled hunger, tiredness, and yellow urine. Sometimes, recovering from extreme hydration is difficult. It cannot happen too quickly as it can harm the patient.
It is better to start consuming water in small sips or better visit the doctor and have a hydration IV injected in such cases. Sometimes, a patient would not react negatively to intravenous hydration as they would to oral hydration.
Means of Hydration
There are many ways to hydrate because various kinds of foods and beverages contain water content.
Fruits and vegetables like watermelon, cucumber, iceberg lettuce, pomegranate, and peaches are full of water content and healthy nutrients and minerals that can be a perfect replacement if one is bored with water. They can also add cucumber, lemon, and strawberries to their diet for extra flavor, along with the benefits.
Beverages like coffee and teas are also high in water content; however, they also contain caffeine, which can dehydrate by washing away salts in urination. The same thing is done by alcohol but to a more considerable and more toxic degree as it flushes the body from hydration and causes exhaustion and nausea.
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Juices that we get from fruits are also a good means of hydration. Still, it is better to consume the fruit rather than drink its juice because it wastes away the pulp that aids in satiating hunger.
Also, juices can never be a long-term replacement for water as they are full of sugars. Even if natural, they contain an adequate amount of calories that would equal those of a meal. So in that way, you are likely to gain a few extra kgs.
On the other hand, processed juice is even more dangerous because it possesses large amounts of artificial flavor and sugars that no person should be consuming daily.
Herbal teas in which have sugar-free ingredients, are also suitable for hydration. Nevertheless, you should keep in check that these teas are not a water replacement.
Why You Should Stay Hydrated?
Other than the simple fact that water is essential to keep us alive, there are various reasons why drinking adequate water should be a priority throughout the day.
It helps us stay active and energized. If you don’t consume water for a long time, you’re more likely to feel sluggish and lethargic. For instance, if we take an athlete who consumes water after a two-mile run, it will probably run more than an athlete who doesn’t drink water at all during running.
Water is necessary for proper brain function as well. A dehydrated person cannot focus on work or anything that would require them to bring their analytical abilities to work. Moreover, someone who hasn’t consumed water all day would feel tired and would not concentrate on a given task for long. It can also cause headaches and dizziness if not hydrated on time.
Water helps keep the temperature of the body moderate after working out or in hot conditions. Sweating dehydrates the body, and water instantly fills for that content lost while cooling the body as well in the process.
It is essential for a healthy diet, and it helps in lowering appetite if consumed before meals and can aid in boosting metabolism, especially cold water. Coldwater cools the body from its average temperature, and thus the body burns more energy trying to regain its previous temperature, which is how it helps to lose weight.
Water helps keep the skin glowing and elastic when the body is hydrated because the cells on and under the skin layer are plump and not flaccid from dehydration.
Consuming water can help prevent kidney stones as it regulates the filtration of water by kidneys. It also dilutes the clumping and concentration of any toxins or minerals that could form stones. Water consumption aids in reducing the risk of Colorectal cancer as water flushes the toxins piled up in the digestive tract that otherwise would cause problems.
Water gives a cushioning effect to all our organs and keeps a barrier that works against trauma that could damage them. It provides moisture to joints and prevents painful friction between them.
Different Intake For Different People
Hydration is different for different people. It depends on their weight, height, age, sex, and geographical position. A child’s water needs are other than that of an adult. The reason being that the child’s body is underdeveloped and thus would need that much water like an adult requires to function correctly.
Similarly, a woman’s adequate water intake would differ from that of a man. It would depend upon their different bodies and various activities. A person who is actively working out would consume water than a person who is not working out consistently or has a desk job.
Drinking water is essential for every person, and a person can doesn’t have to calculate every ounce to figure out how much water they should be drinking, not one sip above or below. The system shouldn’t be that strict.
It’s simple if a person is feeling dizzy and tired, they should drink water. If their urine is very concentrated or yellow, they should drink water. If they feel thirsty, they should drink water, and if not, they shouldn’t force water down their mouth. Try adding flavors to water in various ways to make it easy to ingest if the water isn’t something a person likes to have.
However, one shouldn’t expect water to wash out the toxins from their body as it is the liver’s job to flush out toxins from the blood, and not any ‘magical’ water can do that. Water is essential for efficient body function. It would assist the organs in doing their task.
Whether that’s breathing, eating, sleeping, or passing stool, all require hydration and energy. It wouldn’t be wrong to term water as a necessity, which it is, and without it, none of our bodily functions would work typically. A healthy diet and clean water is the way to go when it comes to a long-lasting fit and happy life!