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Are you drinking enough water?

by Valentino Perrina

 

Drinking enough water every day could make a huge difference in your lifestyle. A study of 2,000 people from the US found just 22 percent drink the USDA recommended eight to 10 glasses a day.Instead, the average American is drinking only half the recommended amount – consuming just five glasses a day. Your individual water needs depend on many factors, including your health, how active you are and where you live. Although everyone’s needs may vary, this will help you estimate how much water YOU should be consuming. Water intake varies within age, gender, illness, temperature, physical activity levels, and psychological condition. 

 

To breakdown just how important water is, we have some studies to share with you:

 

Water is your body’s principal chemical component and makes up about 50% to 70% of your body weight. Your body depends on water to survive.

Every cell, tissue and organ in your body needs water to work properly. For example, water:

  • Gets rid of wastes through urination, perspiration and bowel movements
  • Keeps your temperature normal
  • Lubricates and cushions joints
  • Protects sensitive tissues

If you fail to fuel your body with water, this will lead to dehydration. Even a mild case of dehydration can drain your energy and make you feel tired. 

How much water should you drink? Men vs women

Every day you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. For your body to function properly, you must replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.

So how much fluid does the average, healthy adult living in a temperate climate need? The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is:

  • About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day for men
  • About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women

Every day you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. For your body to function properly, you must replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.

So how much fluid does the average, healthy adult living in a temperate climate need? The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is:

  • About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day for men
  • About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women

What happens if you don’t drink enough water? 

Whatever you do, make sure you get in those six to eight glasses, otherwise dehydration could cause a whole host of problems. Here are a few side effects: 

  • Persistent headaches. One of the first things you might notice when you’re dehydrated is a throbbing headache. The good news? If dehydration is the cause, it should go away shortly after you drink a large glass of water.
  • Sluggish bowel function. “There are water receptors in the colon, and they pull water from the body to make the stools softer,” says Dr. Moghaddam. “If you don’t get enough water, hard stools and constipation could be common side effects, along with abdominal pain and cramps.” 
  • Dull skin. Dehydration shows up on your face in the form of dry, ashy skin that seems less radiant, plump and elastic. 
  • Fatigue. If you’re not replenishing your fluid intake, your energy levels could plummet and you could experience fatigue and brain fog. So the next time you reach for another cup of coffee, see if it’s water that you need instead. 
  • Weight gain. “Sometimes people mistake thirst for hunger and they eat more, but really they just need to drink more,” says Dr. Moghaddam. “Sometimes if you have a glass of water, the hunger cues will go away.” 
  • Dry mouth. If you’re not getting enough water, you can have dry mucous membranes—i.e., a lack of saliva. This can make it difficult to talk, swallow, and even breathe. Luckily, this can easily be solved by drinking water.
  • prolonged or repeat occurrences of severe dehydration can cause kidney issues such as kidney stones and even renal failure.