The traditional lesson when it comes to daily water consumption is to drink 8 glasses a day. But we always see newer studies suggesting that it should be 10 glasses, or 6 glasses or another number. It can be pretty confusing. And what exactly do we mean by a “glass”? How much water is enough water in a day?
The answer is that the amount varies depending on a number of factors. Some people lose more water than others in day because of the amount of activity that they do, their metabolism, and the environment that they live in.
Water is so important to the human body that if we are deprived of water, we die. The human body’s weight is approximately 60 percent water, and this regulates much of our body functions. Water is the medium by which cells are replenished with nutrients, it keeps our vital organs working and it provides moisture to our skin, mouth and throats. Without water, we will slowly suffer from dehydration which drains us of energy and over time can start shutting down vital organs.
Our daily body functions require the use of water. We lose water through breathing, urination, bowel movements, and perspiration. Because of this we need to continually replenish the water that we have lost. Here are the most common suggestions on how much water to take in.
- The 8 x 8 approach. This is the classic “drink 8 glasses of water” approach, 8 ounces each. While this is not backed by scientific evidence as the optimal standard for daily water consumption, many choose to follow this rule because it is easy to quantify and easy to remember.
- Replacement approach. This approach computes the amount of water you lose in a day and take into factor the fluids that you get from food products. For instance, it is estimated that an average adult will lose 1.5 liters of urine a day, plus another liter of water lost through breathing, sweating and bowel movement. If food accounts for 20 percent of the day’s fluid intake, then 2 liters of water a day will replace the amount that you used up.
- Institute of Medicine recommendation. The Institute of Medicine recommends that an average adult male consume about 3 liters of water while the average female should consume about 2.2. liters of water a day.
You can get water from other sources such as from fruits (in the form of juices) even other drinks like soda drinks. However, it is still recommended to drink pure water because it had no additives and is easily available.
Some people might need more water in a day, especially if they are involved in high energy activities such as running or other sports. People who are from hotter climates like those in the tropics may also need more water because they will tend to sweat more. Likewise people who are suffering from an illness will need more water, as well as women who are breastfeeding.