We need to drink 8 glasses of water a day right? I’ve heard it, you’ve heard it, I’m pretty sure there are poster and billboard and cereal boxes with this information printed on them in big bold letters. The common thought is the more water you drink, the better it is for your body.
But is this true? Does more water make your body function more smoothly?
Sorry to burst your bubble, but we’ve been tricked all these years. In fact, the ‘eight glass of waters’ theory is in no way a scientific fact.
Questions like are you getting enough water? How much you need to stay fit and how to know if you are well-hydrated keep making rounds on the Internet. Through this article, all your water intake and hydration related questions will finally be answered.
Water- The regulator of your body functions
Thirst is not the only reason behind drinking water. From regulating the functioning of different organs to flushing the toxins out of the body, water is like one of those security guards that ensure everything stays in order and behaves as they should. Studies show that problems like constipation and kidney stones can easily be avoided if you drink enough water.
On a daily basis, we lose water to sweat, urine, breathing, and bowel moments. It is our job to ensure that we maintain the proper balance of water we take in and water we lose. Don’t worry; you don’t have to carry around a jug of water with you all day. A decent percentage of the water we consume is from fruits and other foods we eat.
How much water do you need every day?
How many marshmallows do you put in your hot coco? I could tell you, depending of course how large the marshmallows are, but my answer is probably different than yours.
Both questions don’t have a set answer or formula. There are a lot of variables to consider. Depending on your age, gender, size, body weight, living conditions, temperature and physical activities, your water intake requirement varies from person to person. There is just one simple rule- if you’re thirsty, drink water. If not, don’t force yourself to.
On average, somewhere between 6 to four ounces of water each day satisfies the needs of an everyday person living in mild climatic conditions and not getting into many physical activities. However, not all of this comes in the form of liquid. It can be from the food we eat as well.
How to tell if you’re getting enough water?
Sometimes you might not feel very thirsty, but your body could still need water. For such cases, it is important to be mindful of what your body is trying to tell you. A proper bowel movement, clear skin, and trouble free stomach are some common signs that indicate your water intake is balanced.
Urine is one of the best tests to know if you’re getting enough water. For someone who drinks enough water according to their needs, the urine is very pale yellow in color and has no particular odor to it. On the other hand, if you aren’t getting enough water, you will notice that the urine is a darker yellow color and has a pungent ammonia smell to it. This is your body’s way of telling you that you need more water.
What about drinking more water than needed?
Some people choose to use water to their advantage by drinking more than they particularly feel thirsty for. There are many reasons to do this, and0 boosting your metabolism is one of them. Research shows that you can lose almost 5 pounds a year just by drinking at least 1.5 extra ounces of water each day.
To get even more added benefit, make sure you opt for cold water because your body will have to work even harder to heat it up, increasing the metabolic activity and your metabolism. Another way to use water to your advantage is to try drinking a glass of water 30 minutes or so before meals. This works to so that you feel fuller and eat fewer calories.
Other reasons to drink more water?
- Decreases risk of kidney stones
- Increase energy levels
- Boost brain functioning
- Reduces acne
- Reduces risk of certain cancers including bladder and colorectal
- Helps with constipation
Is there anything like ‘too much’ water for the body?
Whether good or bad, an excess of anything can turn out to be bad. You can actually drink too much water.
Water intoxication is a common problem among marathon runners, who end up drinking water in super short intervals of time. Physical stress can sometimes make the kidney weak, which prevents it from sending urine to the bladder. Due to this, water ends up getting accumulated in the body itself and can cause serious damage. To avoid such situations, it is important to drink enough water to satiate your thirst but not to the point where you’re uncomfortable.
According to Food and Nutrition Board, the amount of water you need varies from person to person. What might be enough for you could be too little for someone else. Remember we get water through fruits, meats, eggs, and vegetables too. You might get way more water through foods the next person or vice versa, no one rule fits all when it comes to this.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that there is no need to drink a lot of water forcefully. Drink only as much as you feel the need for. Thirst is your best guideline, and if you just drink every time you’re thirsty, you will be able to maintain your body’s water content quite well.
Janetfitness.com [/author] Janet Robinson enjoys the warmth and sunshine in Miami all year long. She loves to be active outside and is particularly fond of beach volleyball. You can often find her running along the beach with her two dogs or creating a mess in the kitchen whipping up some healthy meals. For more information, visit her at