How Much Water Do You Really Need to Drink?
We all know that drinking water is vital to our health. But, how much do we actually need to drink? And why is hydration so important? Let’s take a closer look.
Why We Need Water
As our bodies are made up of about 60% water, it’s pretty clear that we need this tasteless liquid to survive. Apart from its life-giving status, being well-hydrated also contributes to health in several ways:
- Improves Digestion — Being dehydrated is a leading cause of constipation; water helps facilitate bowel movements. Water is also needed for the production of saliva and stomach acid, which helps digest food.
- Eliminates Toxins — Our bodies also eliminate waste through sweat and urine; water is needed for our kidneys and sweat glands to perform these essential tasks.
- Improves Mental Focus — Water makes up even more of our brains (75%!); dehydrated brains can lose focus, cognition, and mental clarity.
- Helps Maintain Healthy Weights — Many people confuse hunger and thirst; people may eat more unhealthy food if they are dehydrated.
How Much Water Do I Need?
Although the “8 cups per day” phrase may be ingrained in your head, many health organizations recommend more than that. According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, women should aim for 11.5 cups (2.7 liters), and it’s recommended that men shoot for 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of water per day.
However, this is highly dependent on your lifestyle and environment. If you exercise and break a sweat or live in a hot and humid area, you’ll likely need more water.
How to Get More Hydrated
If you’re not too keen on drinking plain water, adding flavorings like fresh basil or mint, berries, lemon, lime, or cucumber can make your H2O more exciting. Plus, decaffeinated tea, sparkling water, and water-rich foods like watermelon and cucumber can help you reach your goal.