How much water should I drink?
How much water should I drink? This is a question that we should ask ourselves. Water is one of the most important and essential elements of our body. Without water, our system cannot function well. So, proper consumption of water is essential to maintain our sound health. Even though it has become a great issue, “how much water should we drink per day”, since researchers had given a different point of view on their research paper like eight glasses a day, a cup on every hour, 6 cups a day and so on. However, in general, we came to a point that we should drink water 8 glasses a day and also defer as per your physical work and exercises.
In detail, let’s discuss why we need water, how much water is needed to be away from dehydration, what will happen if water is lacking in our body, how much water should a pregnant woman need to consume, and many more. Here we begin:
Water and its importance to our body:
Water is the most crucial elements of our body and consists of about 60% of our body weight i.e. more than two-thirds of our body consists of water. So, water is essential for almost every function of our body and from flushing out toxins to digestion. Furthermore, it comes to know that an average young man has a percentage water composition of 50-70%, infants have 75% and older people have around 55% of their body weight. Variability in the overall water composition of the body is mostly due to differences in age, sex, and aerobic fitness. So water necessities also vary but proper consuming water has common following advantages:
- It helps to curb hunger
- Flushes out toxins that make us sick and fat
- Boosts energy
- Speed up metabolism by up to 3%
- Carries nutrients to our cells
- Provides moist environment to our ear, nose and throat tissues
- Get away from dehydration
Lack of water leads to dehydration and several health hazards so proper consumption of water is essential. You can also drink milk, water and fruit juices to maintain hydration. Now, let’s discuss how do you know if you are dehydrated?
If you have following signs or symptoms then, be sure that you are dehydrated:
- Feeling thirsty and passing dark colored.
- Strong-smelling urine
- Feeling sluggish
- Feeling lightheaded
- Having dry mouth
In case of children and elderly, they are at more risk of being dehydrated and show following symptoms:
Children: drowsy, having fewer wet nappies, breathing more quickly
Older People: Confusion, dry mouth
Note: Patient experiencing vomiting sweats and diarrhea can become dehydrated quickly so liquid rich food materials and water need to supply.
In contrary, it is also possible to be over hydrated; it often occurs in the case of athletes, especially marathon runners, who can be prone to taking on too much fluid and suffering from hyponatremia. Due to hyponatraemia, water intoxication and sodium levels are dangerously low and effect to kidney and heart.
Note: Main purpose of drinking during exercise is to prevent excessively (>2% of body weight loss from water deficit) dehydration and excessive changes in electrolyte balance to avert compromised performance.
So, to help the body to relieve itself of excess water, and pressure on the heart and other organs, doctors commonly use diuretics or water tablets that promote the production of urine.
Hence two mechanisms are usually used for maintaining water balance in the body:
- Urine Output
Pregnant Woman and water necessity:
But, in the case of a pregnant woman, you have to drink more water to support your baby’s growth. You should also up your fluid intake as per weather condition. Water is the most important factor to be hydrated and also use some of the following items to get hydrated:
- Fruit Juice
Fruit juice is the best source of vitamins and minerals and best for your growing baby. And avoid so-called “juice drinks” which contain little vitamins and minerals.
Milk is a rich source of calcium, iodine and vitamin B5 and is important for you and your baby’s health.
Dairy-based smoothies give you all the goodness of milk and fruit in one glass. Similarly, Vegetable-based smoothies are a good source of vitamins and minerals as they contain less sugar and calories.
- Flavored water
You can use flavored water like lemon, slices of cucumber if you have morning sickness.
- Ginger drinks
It is more useful when you feel nauseous.
But don’t prefer to drink these underneath drinks more in general for you and your baby’s health:
- Fruit Squash
- Fizzy Drinks
- Tea and Coffee
Maintaining water balance and electrolytes:
An electrolyte is a proper composition of body water which is an important factor in the regulation of physiological functions. The major electrolytes are Potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, chloride and many more. These are the essential electrolytes in preserving the required chemical and electrical balance, safeguarding correct cellular function and facilitating the electrical communication around the body. So, it is important to note that individual sweat and sweat rate is manipulated by environmental conditions and physiological makeup of an individual.
Similarly, thermoregulation is properly maintained in our body to achieve heat loss. Just like water balance, the human body works very hard to maintain a constant internal environment and so when the body recognizes an increase in core temperature, it reacts to dissipate some of this heat by using following four physical processes:
Here, radiation, conduction, and convection contribute to overall heat loss but its evaporation provides the most protection against overheating. The increase in body water to the surface of the skin allows heat to evaporate into the environment and to control the rise in body temperature. So you need not have to worry about as well if your body is performing well. It will do all for you.
If in case any worse happen to like not passing urine for more than eight hours, feeling lightheaded or lethargic, confusion or a pulse, then immediately consult to doctor. Delaying may lead to serious health hazards.