There is nothing newness to the fact that drinking water is good for health. Lore has it that you should drink 8 glasses of water every day. Is that so? Let’s check.
Each individual’s body is different. Consequently, every person’s water needs shall differ. It also depends on other factors such as your health condition, your physical activities and geographical location. There is no thumb rule regarding the quantity of water intake. But having a better idea of your body’s needs for fluids will make it easier for you to figure out how much water to drink.
Now let us see the health benefits of this wonder fluid.
- Water keeps you hydrated. Even water loss of an amount as small as 1 percent can drain out your energy. Your body needs adequate quantity of water to perform day to day activities.
- Water helps to reduce oxidative stress that occurs during an intense workout session.
- Helps in proper brain functioning.
- Treats headaches. National Institutes of Health studied 393 people and found out that 40 percent of them had headache due to dehydration.
- Staying hydrated is important for smooth bowel functioning.
- Prevents the formation of kidney stones. Once formed, drinking water may help in passing the smaller stones.
- Assists in weight loss.
- Provides cushion to joints and prevents muscle sprain.
An adult human body is 60 percent water and our blood is 90 percent water. So you know that water is an indispensable element for human body.
How much water to consume?
According to the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, an average healthy adult should consume:
Men – About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids each day
Women – About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids each day
This covers fluids from water, other beverages and food. Usually only about 20 percent of daily fluid intake comes from food, with the rest coming from beverages.
8 glasses of water a day – Is it a myth?
There is no scientific evidence to prove that you should drink 8 glasses of water. An athlete may need even more and for some people lesser than 8 glasses can be sufficient. You need to adjust your fluid intake based on several factors:
- You need more water in hot and humid weather as compared to winters.
- If you do workouts, you will need greater amount of fluids.
- You need additional fluids during pregnancy and breast-feeding to stay hydrated.
Other sources of fluid:
Water is not the only source of hydration. Your Daily intake of food like soup, tea, coffee, green vegetables, fruits like cucumber, watermelon provide hydration. Your water intake will depend on your hydration sources.
Is overconsumption of water dangerous?
Yes it is. Our body cells need water to function smoothly. But excess water can cause them to swell. Even the brain cells swell leading to drowsiness and headache. Ultimately, it will lead to hypertension or bradycardia. Over hydration causes hyponatremia because sodium is the electrolyte most affected by it. Sodium is a significant element that helps regulate fluid exchange between cells. When its levels fall as a result of high water content in the body, fluids get into the cells. This may result in seizures, coma or even death.
How to know if you are over hydrated?
You body will show sign of over hydration:
- Frequent urination
- Colour of urine is clear or transparent
- Swollen feet, hands or lips