Do you know how much water is in our body? Actually, about 60% of our body is made of water. For example, if your body weight is about 200 pounds, about 120 pounds of your body is water. As human beings, we cannot live without water. We need water for everybody function. Water helps us digest the food we eat, carry nutrients to our cells, flush toxins from our organs, and cushion our joints.
Of course, water is very important to our health. If we don’t get enough water, we will become dehydrated, which is not a good thing. In extreme situations, dehydration can result in dizziness, confusion and even seizures. On the other hand, if dehydration always happens, it will affect our health in the long run.
How much water do you need per day? 8 Glasses? Or more?
We have heard that 8 glasses of water per day are recommended. However, how much water we need per day depends on many factors. For example, if you are very active and do more exercise every day, of course you need more water. Or if you live in a warm or hot climate area, you also need to consume more water per day. And we lose water all the time through our sweat, breath, bowel movements and pee. Therefore, we need to drink water every day.
Men are recommended to drink 13 cups or 3 liters of fluid per day, and women need to drink 9 cups or 2 litters of fluid per day. For pregnant women, about 10 cups of water per day are essential. For moms who need to breastfeed their infants, this figure can be about 12 cups.
If you sweat a lot because of hot seasons or doing something active, you need to drink more fluids or water to stay hydrated. Some illnesses can cause dehydration (diarrhea, fever), and this means people who have one of these similar illnesses should drink more water.
On the other hand, for people who have a particular type of kidney disease or a problem of heart failure, it is not recommended to drink more water. In these situations, how much water you can drink depends on your current situation. And you can ask your doctor for help.
How Much Water should Children Drink per Day?
Similar to adults, there are many factors which can influence how much water children should drink. Their ages, weight and genders can influence the result. And children tend to be more active than adults. They run and play all the day and they always sweat a lot. And the area they live and the climate also influence the result too.
Generally speaking, for children and teens, 6 to 8 cups of water are needed. Children or teens may not like to drink water, so they should eat fresh vegetables and fruits which also contain lots of water.
If they are playing or doing exercise, they need to drink water more frequently, like 0.5-2 cups every 15-20 minutes. And they tend to forget to drink water, and as parents, we need to remind them of drinking water on time.
Besides drinking water directly, other sources can replace drinking water?
Of course, many fruits, vegetables, beverages and other foods contain water. Eating them can also help keep hydrated. However, some of them have their drawbacks.
For example, sodas, juices and smoothies are mainly made up of water, but they may be high in CO2, sugar and calories. Sodas are high in sugar and they are harmful to our health and can lead to the loss of calcium.
Tea and coffee also provide water. However, they all contain caffeine, which are diuretic. Therefore, when you pee, you will actually lose more water than you drink. And it is also not recommends to drink more coffee or tea. Take drinking coffee for example. You can safely drink 2 to 4 cups of coffee per day. Or excessive intake of coffee will be harmful to our health. Once you feel jittery or anxious, you need to reduce the intake of coffee.
We have an experience that after we drink wine, we tend to feel thirsty. Even if alcoholic drinks have water, they can cause dehydration, because alcohol (similar to caffeine) make you lose more water. When we pee, water is lost.
Sports drinks are also not recommended. Sports drinks can level up your energy, because they contain carbohydrates and electrolytes. Carbohydrates provide energy, and electrolytes help replace salt lost. However, sport drinks contain a lot of sugar, calories and salt. When you need to drink them, pay attention to its nutrition label and limit your intake.
Energy drinks are a little different from sports drinks. They are high in sugar, stimulants (like caffeine) and also calories. They are designed for addults, so children and teens should avoid energy drinks.
Foods also contain water. Many foods, especially fruits and vegetables, like watermelon, iceberg lettuce, cucumber and celery are high in water. Over 90% of them is water. These fresh fruits and vegetables can also provide healthy vitamins and minerals. However, some fruits are also high in sugar and they are not for everyone.
Is it safe to drink too much water?
In most situations, it is not recommended to drink too much water. However, if you drink too much water, it will be a big burden for your kidneys. Your kidney may not deal with so much water. What’s worse, you may develop a condition of hyponatremia, which means all the minerals in your body are diluted. When sodium levels fall in your blood and water levels rise, your cells will swell. This is not good at all. And it will result in serious problems or even life-threating issues. Endurance athletes may have a similar problem, because they sweat a lot and drink too much water during exercises or matches.
For people who have certain health conditions, how much water to drink is not so easy to decide. These conditions include thyroid disease, kidney, heart, or liver problems. Anyway, if you have a health problem, you’d better ask your doctor for guidance.
Have I drunk enough water?
If you don’t regularly feel thirsty, or your pee is light yellow or clear, you are probably drinking enough water.
What types of water should I drink?
Well, nowadays, water quality is really a big issue. Of course, we need to drink enough water, but if the water quality is poor, the water we drink can finally cause serious health problems. Therefore, the water quality matters.
If you don’t trust the water quality of the tap water, you can install a water filter to get filtered water to drink. On the market, there are many types of water filters which are different from brands, functions, abilities to filter water, prices and ease of use.
These filters include carbon filters, reverse osmosis water filters, UV filters, water softeners, etc. And they also come in different forms, like whole house water filters, under sink water filters, faucet water filters, water filter pitchers, shower head water filters and countertop water filters.
And we strongly recommended to install an under sink water filter (a RO filter) to get clean RO water. And if such a RO filter has a filter that can add healthy minerals back, that will be better.
However, one thing we need to pay attention to is the VOCs in your water. Distillation cannot get rid of them and a distiller with a post filter can help to remove them finally.
And distilled water doesn’t contain minerals, it is not recommended to drink it for a long time. But, we can use it to cook, make a cup of coffee or tea, or make a glass of juice. Or you can add a piece of lemon in it.
Of course, you can buy bottled water directly. You can buy a 3- or 5-gallon water bottle that is full of purified water and use your water cooler dispenser. Bottled water is a form of distilled water or filtered water. It is made in a factory, not at home.
If you are not sure its quality, you can do some test. You can buy a water test kit to test its quality.
Well, tap water is the most common water in our daily life. It is hard to say whether it is good or not. In some areas, tap water is of poor quality, while in other areas, the water quality is relatively good. Similar to bottled water, you can use water test kit to do some tests and determine whether it is safe to drink. If the answer is no, you may need to consider other types of water.
In rural areas, well water is very common. It is a type of natural water. It may be safe, or it may also contains many contaminants, like chemicals, bacteria and viruses, and even heavy metals. You can use a water distiller or a water filter to purify it.
Hi, I’m a young mom and has a 3-year old boy. As a healthy living blogger, I am happy to help people who care about the quality of water, air and life make wise buying decisions and save some money. Read more