Over 60% of the human body is made up of water. Hence, to say that you need to drink water is an understatement. For past many years, there has been a steadily held belief that drinking 8 glasses of water a day is sufficient for fulfilling your body’s needs. Is this really true? Do you really need to drink 8 glasses of water every day? Let’s find out!
The fact of the matter is that water intake requirements vary from person to person. 8 glasses a day is a rule of thumb of sorts, because scientists are yet to agree on a definite quantity. There are numerous factors that affect how much water you actually need to drink. These include:
- Your overall health
- Your level of activity
- Your location (and the climate)
Hence, providing a straightforward answer to the main question here is not easy. However, learning more about your body’s water needs can help you make the right decision. The fact of the matter is that a lack of sufficient water intake can lead to dehydration, which can cause a number of health problems. This is because even when you don’t drink enough water, your body continues to expel fluids. When you breathe, perspire, and answer nature’s calls, your body loses water. Therefore, it is crucial to restore the balance to prevent dehydration.
According to the Institute of Medicine, the average healthy male needs to drink at 3 liters of water a day, which means 13 cups. The corresponding figure for women is 2.2 liters, or 9 cups. 8 glasses, on the other hand, make up around 1.9 liters. Keep in mind that ‘water’ here refers to all the fluids you consume during the day. The reason why the ‘8 glasses a day’ adage has become popular is because of convenience. It is easy to keep track of your water intake when you know you have to drink at least 8 glasses. It is time the rule is rephrased to say that you need to drink 8 glasses of fluids every day.
However, there is a chance that 8 glasses do not suffice. This is particularly true in the case of people who exercise on a daily basis. Any physical activity that induces excessive sweating requires you to drink more water. If you exercise daily, you need to drink at least 2 cups of water more than the average person does. Depending on the intensity of your exercise, you might need even more water than that. The climate also affects your water needs. For instance, in hot and humid conditions, your body loses more water, and hence you have to replenish. The opposite is true when the weather is cold or rainy.
Similarly, people dealing with health problems that lead to loss of water, such as fever or diarrhea, should drink more water. Your doctor will probably tell you to increase your fluid intake. Women who are pregnant or nursing should also drink more water than the average.