Just how much water does your body need a day? There’s so much advice out there, and most it will tell you that you need around 2 liters a day.
But then you find out that you’ll need more in certain circumstances. And what if you weigh more? Will this affect the amount of water that your body needs?
What the figure doesn’t consider are all the watery vegetables that you consume. Does this affect the amount that you need to eat? It’s easy to understand just why we all get so confused over the amount of water we need.
Well, that’s why I’m here. It’s time to stop the confusing research because I’ve done it all for you. Here’s a look at just how much water you need to drink on a daily basis. We’ll also look into how important water is for the body—both for your health and your weight loss efforts.
Is Water Really That Important?
The body is made up of 60-70% water. That’s a lot of water, right? It doesn’t seem right when you think about the amount of blood, muscle, tissue, organ, and fat in the body. But water is a major part of the make-up.
You see, your organs, muscles, and skin all absorb the water. Sometimes the body can retain the amount of water that you have.
You need to keep your water levels at this type of level. If you allow yourself to dehydrate, your whole body will complain at you. Your brain struggles to concentrate, and your kidneys can’t get rid of all the toxins as well as they should.
Studies have shown that dehydration affects the energy and brain function levels throughout the day. Women have shown mood and concentration dips because they were dehydrated after exercise. And then there are the increased headaches due to dehydration, which leads to the mood slumping because of pain.
Even mild dehydration can affect your endurance. You don’t have the energy to complete all of your activities throughout the day. And energy slumps lead to a slump in the mood.
And then we get the issues of eating too much. When we’re thirsty, our brains get the signal we’re hungry. The body just can’t distinguish between the two. Those headache symptoms actually mean you’ve been dehydrated for a while. Instead of reaching for the glass of water, you’re likely to reach for something to eat. You consume calories when your body doesn’t really need them.
There are so many other health benefits to drinking more water. Remember that all your organs get to function better. One of the biggest benefits is that you’ll see a reduction in constipation and bloating issues. Your digestive system is fully supported to remove all the food out of your system. You’ll also find that your kidneys have the fluids needed to get rid of all the sodium and toxins in your body, so you’re at a lower risk of kidney stones.
We also can’t forget about the skin benefits to drinking more water. Your skin will feel softer, and you reduce the signs of aging. There are also benefits to minimizing the acne that you suffer from. Studies are still needed to see just how beneficial water is for acne minimisation.
Can Water Aid With Weight Loss Efforts?
Let’s initially take this whole issue of us eating more calories than we need. Of course, by doing this, we’re going to end up over-consuming the calories and gaining weight. This is especially the case if we eat more calories than our bodies burn throughout the day.
So, it would make sense to remain hydrated. You don’t consume all those extra calories.
But what about other methods to help you lose weight? There are theories that water helps with reducing the appetite and boosting the metabolic rate.
Studies have shown that this could be possible, but it’s only a temporary effect. When you drink a glass of water, your stomach ends up temporarily full. It needs to process the liquid and tells your brain not to send anymore food for the time being. However, water is processed at a much quicker rate than food. If you were hungry and not thirsty, you would quickly get the hunger sensation back.
That being said, if you are trying to lose weight, it’s worth having a glass of water before your meals. Your stomach will have an initial fill, so you don’t feel the need to eat as much on your plate. You end up seeing a reduction of calories that you eat.
There are some studies that also show there is an increase in your metabolism. Again, this is a temporary boost. If you get an optimum amount of water daily, you’re only going to increase the number of calories you burn to around 96-100. That isn’t even enough for a slice of toast!
Cold water gives you the best metabolism boost. The benefit is that your body has to heat up, which expels more energy. Once your body temperature has increased, the metabolism can go back to burning at the normal rate.
So, Just How Much Water Do We Need?
There’s an 8×8 rule when it comes to water. Experts recommend that you drink eight 8oz glasses of water a day. This is about half a gallon or 2 liters, depending on the measurement type you prefer.
This is based on the average person and the average amount of activity that you’re likely to do. Experts recommend this has a bare minimum for an average healthy lifestyle. It’s also based on those who don’t live in extremely hot countries and those who haven’t been through harrowing events that have left them dehydrated.
Your body will lose water through sweat and urination. If you end up sweating more than the average person, you’ll need to take in more fluids throughout the day. This means if you live in a hotter country, you could need 10-12 glasses a day or more. If you do a lot of exercises, you’ll need to rehydrate yourself from the water that you’ll lose through the extra sweat. You should find an extra glass or two is good for most exercise.
Those who are dehydrated, maybe because they just haven’t given themselves enough water on a daily basis will need to get more fluids. Even if you don’t feel thirsty, you should sip water regularly throughout the day. In fact, some experts believe that we should sip on water continuously anyway because we’re all on the brink of dehydration all the time.
And if you feel thirsty, then you should take in more fluids. Your body is giving you this message for a reason: it needs you to get more. If you don’t feel thirsty once you’ve had a glass, then you can usually stop but do keep an eye out for some of the signs of dehydration, including muscle fatigue, concentration lapses, and headaches.
Another sign of being dehydration is the color of your urine. If it is a yellowy color, it’s a sign that you need to drink more. Your urine should either be clear or have a very diluted color of yellow there. If it is brown or orange, then you are dehydrated.
Brown or orange urine is a common first thing in a morning. Your body has gone eight hours without fluids in most cases. Just make sure you hydrate first thing in a morning, and you’ll see a difference. Start your day with some lemon water to get that initial boost.
Pregnant women will also need to drink more water. You’re not just supporting yourself right now. You should find an extra two or three glasses of water is enough. You may find that you’re thirstier throughout the day, so answer this by grabbing another glass of water before you reach for the snacks.
Can You Drink Too Much Water?
There are some theories that you can actually have too much. It certainly is true that you can get too much of a good thing. When you get too much water daily, you’re making your kidneys work harder to flush the fluid out of your system.
You can upset the balance of electrolytes in your kidneys. These help to control the amount of toxins being released from the body. You can end up with a large drop in the sodium in your body, which leads to a serious condition called hyponatremia. It can be life-threatening if not gained under control.
If you do a lot of exercises, you’ll also lose sodium from the body through your sweat. If you don’t replace this and only replace the water, you’ll find that you have more lactic acid build-up and more cramping.
It is uncommon to drink too much water, but certainly possible. Most of us are more likely not to drink enough.
There is usually an underlying condition for drinking too much water. You may experience excessive thirst, which is a sign of diabetes. If you’re pregnant, you should mention it to your doctor to get checked for gestational diabetes. If you’re not pregnant, keep a log of the amount of water you drink if you do constantly feel thirsty.
How much water is too much? Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to answer this question. We’re all different, and it will depend on our size. Those who are larger will find that they need more water. Just look out for symptoms like muscle fatigue, nausea, cramping, and mood swings if you are drinking excessively more than the recommended 2 liters.
Can You Get Water from Other Sources?
So, these 2 liters don’t just have to come from tap water. You can get your fluid from all sorts of other sources, including those water-based foods. This is something you need to consider, especially if you’re worried that you’re drinking far too much water.
I know this will be great news for those who don’t like the taste of plain ol’ tap water. You can pop in a bit of diluting juice to your water or opt for juices and smoothies to get your fluid intake. Don’t forget about adding some fruits to your water to help include some natural flavoring. You want to get your water as natural as possible for the rest of the health benefits.
What about caffeinated drinks? Aren’t these a diuretic? Won’t they just lead to you losing more water?
Sure, they are a diuretic, but they still count as fluids. The diuretic effect isn’t strong enough to counter a number of fluids you will get from the water. That means you can count those cups of tea and coffee throughout the day.
Of course, there are other health pros and cons to opting for tea and coffee throughout the day. There is no better substitute for plain water when it comes to hydrating and supporting the whole body.
The great news is that if you do get some tea and coffee, fruit juices, and water-based foods, you are going to get a good amount of fluid into your diet. Just think about adding a little extra water to your day.
How Can I Get More Water in My Day?
While you now know that food and other drinks will count, you still want to think about ways to get plain water into your diet. You’ll need to figure out tricks to drink more.
The first thing you can do is grab a glass of water before each meal. Drink it all and then refill it. Now have that glass of water with your meal. With three meals, that means you’re getting six glasses instantly. And you’re also going to help reduce the amount of food you need to consume, so you don’t have to handle the extra calories.
First thing on a morning, opt for some lemon water. The lemon will help to pop some extra nutrients into your system and refreshes your brain after that long sleep. You’ll also find it tastes better than just plain water.
Make up some ice cubes. One of the issue for many is that lukewarm water tastes bland and boring. If you have cold water, you’re more likely to drink it—and you get the benefit of an increase in your metabolism while your body warms up from the cold water.
Carry a bottle of water around with you. A 50cl water bottle is a quarter of your daily intake. Once you finish it, fill it back up and work on that throughout the day.
You could also set a timer. You’re likely to be up for around 16 hours in the day. Split that up by eight, so you know you need to get a glass of water every two hours. Set your time to make sure you get that, so you keep yourself hydrated.
Now it’s time for you to get to work. You know just how much water you need to get throughout the day and can watch out for signs of dehydration. It’s not all about water either. Just make sure you get enough fluids.