You may have heard the golden rule – drink 8 glasses of water per day if you want to be fit and healthy. But is there scientific evidence behind this rule? And how could this possibly apply to everyone? If you cannot wrap your head around this one, this article will help you find out exactly how much water you should drink per day for wellness and hydration. cut
The Benefits of Drinking Water
Staying hydrated throughout the day is crucial for our overall health. But not being thirsty and being hydrated, regardless of what many think, are two very different things.
Our body is made of, approximately, 60 percent water. We are losing some of that water constantly – mainly through sweat and urine. Making sure that the loss of water is compensated is essential for our health.
But just because we don’t feel thirsty doesn’t mean that we are perfectly hydrated. The thirst occurs when the lack of water in our bodies disrupts the balance of salt in our blood. And that doesn’t happen immediately after we pay the loo a visit, despite the fact that we eliminate a significant amount of water from our body that way.
That is why drinking water regularly is essential for our wellness. The balance kept by proper hydration is essential for many different aspects of our health.
Drinking Water Increases Brain Performance
Our brain is mostly made of water so it is a no-brainer how drinking water can help us stay sharp, concentrated, and energized to function properly. Drinking water helps us think and allows us to perform our daily activities much more efficiently.
Drinking Water Supports Weight Loss
If you want to lose weight, then a bottle of water should be your best friend. Do you know how drinking plenty of water makes your tummy feel full and not that hungry?
That is an added bonus of how water can help you burn the stubborn belly fat. Besides, good hydration will increase your metabolism and support your weight-loss goals.
Drinking Water Detoxifies
Water is the most powerful detoxifier. The more water you drink, the more waste you eliminate, whether via sweat and urine, which, in turn, keeps the kidney clean and free of toxins.
Obviously, this reduces the risk for kidney stones and other infections.
Drinking Water Boosts Immune System
Sipping water regularly will reduce the chance of you getting sick. It boosts the immune system and prevents flu and other hazards such as heart attack.
Besides, if you are a regular water drinker, it is less likely to experience headaches, migraines, and back pains, all thanks to the proper hydration.
Drinking Water Makes Your Skin Beautiful
Being hydrated is crucial for your skin, so if you want an acne-free skin that is smooth and, well, young, make sure to drink enough water.
Read on to see how much enough means for you.
How Many Ounces of Water Should I Drink A Day?
The 8×8 Rule
Okay, there is an 8×8 golden rule when it comes to drinking water. That means, drinking 8 glasses of 8 ounces per day. Seems like a lot to you?
Well, the truth is, it is not. While the 8×8 rule is a great place to start, it may not be enough to cover the unique needs of your body.
It’s different from person to person
This rule differs from person to person and definitely takes into consideration the age, sex, level of activity, and plenty of other factors, into consideration. That being said, the answer to how many ounces you should consume per day is not as simple as the golden rule.
Let’s see how much water to drink a day for different age groups.
Amount of water an adult should drink a day
If you are an adult and have more than 19 years, then you should consume:
- 7 liters or 13 cups or 125 ounces of water if you are a man
- 7 liters or 9 cups or 91.2 ounces of water if you are a woman
However, keep in mind that this is the overall intake of fluids per day, which includes everything that you drink or eat (that has water in it) during the day.
Amount of water children should drink a day
The recommended fluid intake of water depends on their age.
- Between 4 and 8 years: 40 ounces or 5 cups of water
- Between 9 and 13 years: 56 – 64 ounces or 7 – 8 cups of water
Amount of water a teenager should drink a day
Teenagers that are between 14 and 18 years old should consume 64 to 88 ounces or 8 to 11 cups of water.
Again, this refers to the overall intake of liquid and includes food as well.
Keep in mind that these recommendations vary from person to person and depend on many different factors.
- Women Who are Pregnant or Breastfeeding
Women who are pregnant should consume 80 ounces or 10 cups of water, regardless of their age.
Women who are breastfeeding, no matter how old they are, should aim for 104 ounces or 13 cups of water.
Please consult your doctor before any decision on intake into your body.
- Level of Activity
If you are an athlete or you are highly active each day, then obviously you need more water than others.
If your workout lasts longer than an hour, it is recommended to increase the recommended water intake by 1 ½ to 2 ½ cups of water.
- The Place You Live
If the place you live in has a hot climate that means that you sweat more than those who live in places where the climate is moderate. To ensure proper hydration, make sure to increase your water intake a bit, about 1 -2 cups will do.
If you live in a place that is more than 8,200 feet (2,500 meters) above the level of sea, then you also need to increase your daily water consumption. Make sure to increase your recommendation by 1 cup or so.
- Fever, Vomiting, and Diarrhea
When you have fever or diarrhea or are vomiting, you lose more of your body’s fluids than usual. To stay healthy and ensure proper hydration, you will need to increase the water intake.
There is really no rule for this one, but make sure to drink plenty of water when such a thing happens. If your body loses more liquids than you can compensate, you may be prescribed electrolyte-enriched drinks in order to restore the balance in your body.
Does Only Water Count?
Although plain water is the best thing that will keep you hydrated, it is not the only source of fluids. Other drinks also matter. Drinking fruit juices and tea without caffeine also affects your level of hydration.
The recommendations above include water in all forms, whether plain or from other drinks or fluids. While bread will not affect your fluid intake, eating a watermelon that mostly consists of water, will surely mean that you should cut down the consumption of plain water.
Of course, there isn’t actually a way for you to know exactly how much fluid you consume through food. That would be downright overwhelming and probably impossible.
However, a good rule of a thumb is that when we consume 3 meals and 2 snacks a day, we consume about 20 percent of the needed daily water intake from both, food and other drinks.
Caffeine – the more you drink it the more water you lose
You may think that drinking coffee, soda, or caffeinated tea helps you stay hydrated, however, the caffeine found in these drinks will do quite the opposite.
Caffeine acts as a diuretic, which, when put simply, means that the more you drink it, the more water you lose. A cup of coffee or green tea will not improve your hydration but cause your body to lose more water than needed.
It is recommended to increase your water intake if you consume caffeine.
How to Trick Yourself Into Drinking More Water A Day?
Drinking water may be great for your body, but we have to admit that sipping on plain water when you are not thirsty can be overwhelming. Not to mention our busy schedule and crazy obligations that make us forget to fill up the tank.
Here are some tips that can help you keep yourself hydrated (even when you don’t want to):
Set a Timer
If you cannot remember to take a glass of water, you might want to consider setting reminders. Set timers on your phone that will remind you to drink your dose and never be thirsty again.
Take it with You
Make sure to always have a bottle or a glass of water nearby. Keep it in your sight and let it remind you to sip. If you don’t like to buy water and have already invested in water filter at home, invest in a fancy bottle that you will like to carry with you.
Play a little game with yourself. Whenever you reach your goal and drink the recommended water intake, treat yourself. If you are in the mood for a cupcake, say to yourself “when I meet my water intake goal” 🙂
Make It a Routine
Make drinking water a routine. Get up, drink a glass of water. Getting ready to eat, drink a glass of water. Get to work, drink a glass of water. Create a routine that works for you and stick to it. Over time it will become a natural thing to do just like brushing your teeth.
If you don’t like drinking tasteless water, then flavor it up.
Add lemon slices, lime, orange, ginger, mint, cucumber, berries, watermelon… Add whatever flavor you like and trick yourself into actually enjoying drinking your water.
Check out this video for more info on how to make yourself drink more water each day
Replenishing your water supply is of great importance for your health. If you cannot get yourself to drink the recommended amount, then start with the 8×8 rule.
Once drinking plenty of water is no longer an obligation but a healthy routine, increase the intake. Better 8 glasses than dehydration, right?
Now if you’re wondering if I have any other tips, the answer is yes. Check out my article about the effects of oven cleaner on kitchen countertops and how many calories you will get from a peanut butter and jelly sandwich
Leave me a comment to let me know what you think. Cheers!