Water. We can’t live without it. Literally. In fact, according to USGS, up to 60 percent of the human body is water: the brain and heart are made up of 73 percent water, the lungs are 83 percent water, the skin 64 percent and your muscles and kidneys 79 percent. But if drinking water doesn’t come naturally to you, you’ve probably wondered how much water should I drink in a day? What is the recommended water intake a day? How does my water intake affect me? Have no fear, we will cover all of this in this article so keep reading.
WHY DO I NEED TO DRINK WATER?
Water is arguably the key nutrient for every cell in the body and without it, we would not survive. It contributes to all integral processes in the body, from regulating body temperature to lubricating joints; water is at the heart (literally) of all we do. Every cell, organ, and tissue in the body needs water for maintaining their daily functions, like digestion, breathing, protecting sensitive areas like the brain and metabolizing energy stores.
Throughout the day, our bodies are using water whether excreting it through sweat or using it for digestive processes, so ensuring you are rehydrating is key. Without a constant intake of water, your body will be unable to function optimally: a study that observed the effects of mild dehydration caused by either exercise or overheating can significantly impair cognitive performance, and this occurs when you are dehydrated by only one to three percent, imagine the effects of severe dehydration!
WHAT IS THE RECOMMENDED WATER INTAKE DAILY?
You’ve probably heard the general recommendation that you need eight 8oz glasses of water per day (the ‘8x8 rule’), equating to 2 liters. However this recommendation is not based on science, and a large study investigated whether this would be enough water for the average adult. The study concluded that this is not enough water, instead recommending that people aim for approximately 3 liters but that it depends heavily on your gender, weight, height, climate and activity level.
For example, if you exercise, live in a hot climate, weigh more, or are pregnant: you need to drink more water. These variables increase fluid excretion which makes dehydration easier and more likely. It is crucial to drink enough water for cognitive performance and to function properly, but it is also crucial to drink it for weight loss. Without enough water, your body can’t properly metabolize stored triglycerides or glycogen. This process is known as lipolysis and refers to the breaking down of fat stores, in which water is a key component. So essentially, no water equals no fat loss!
So as you can see, the ideal water intake per day depends, but aiming for three liters is a good place to start. If you struggle to drink enough water, a water intake recommendation would be to add fruit to make it taste better.
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