Are you aware of the fact that water makes up almost 70% of the Earth’s total surface and almost the same percentage of our body is water? This is clearly indicative of the fact that water bears a lot of significance in our life and in the existence of life on earth. In fact scientists have concluded that it is in fact water that gave birth to life on this planet and what differentiates us from the rest of the planetary bodies.
In our body, water is required for the ideal functioning of each of our organs. Brain, heart, kidneys, liver and our skin are only few of the essential organs that depend upon good fluid intake for prime performance. The intestines and lining of the ENT canals depend upon water to remain moist and hydrated in order to prevent conditions that occur due to dryness like sneezing, cough and even digestive disorders.
After establishing the significance of water, we come to our next most important question – How much water should we drink daily in order to keep up with the optimum level of this life-giving liquid in our body? If you want a straight and clear cut answer than the Institute of Medicine says that the average adult male needs to drink 13 cups or 3 litres of water or fluid that comes through other beverages daily and the average adult woman should drink no less than 9 cups or 2.2 litres of water or other fluids.
So whatever happened to the “You should drink eight glasses of water daily”? Don’t be perplexed; that general rule still exists and that is the minimal amount of water that each adult should be drinking each day. The amount of water mentioned by the Institute of Medicine is ideal amount. And besides, you cannot follow the rule of “one size fits all” here. Every person has different requirements depending upon a lot of factors. For one thing, no two adults are alike; their body weight, body mass, climatic circumstances, metabolic conditions, health situations, physical routine and dieting regime are most likely dissimilar and hence the amount of water each of them requires cannot be compared either.
Factors That Affect Amount of Water Intake
- Although you should still complete the number of recommended glasses, no matter what kind of climate you live in, you generally need to drink even more if it is very hot and humid.
- If you are on a higher altitude, the drop of temperature might compel you to urinate more than usual; that plus the heavy breathing can lose good amount of water, so drink up.
- The amount of exercise you do and how much you sweat also affects water level; which is why you should replace that loss after drinking.
- If you indulge in more than a regular bout of exercise then it is better to drink a sports drink as it replenishes the electrolyte loss.
- Pregnant and feeding mothers need to drink more fluid than usual as their requirement increases during such periods.
As a general rule, your urine colour can be a guide to your hydration level; if you are satisfactorily hydrated, your urine will be of a very light colour. However, if you don’t take plenty of water it tends to become very dark in colour.
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