You may have heard that your body needs eight glasses of water every day, but how much water does your body really need?
Three international organisations around the world have tried to determine the daily water requirements of humans. This includes the Institute of Medicine, the European Food Safety Authority and the National Academies of Science.
Each organisation has determined a slightly different amount of water that the human body needs to function. However, this is simply a guideline.
Everyone’s water needs depend on age, weight, level of physical activity and the climate you live in.
For example, the more water you lose to sweat, the more water your body will need.
A person who lives in a hotter climate will need to drink more water than a person of identical weight and height in a cooler climate. This is also the same for someone taking part in physical activity.
To truly understand how much water your body really needs, you have to consider the various factors of your own lifestyle.
When looking at the water your body needs, take into account the amount of physical activity you do.
Do you regularly visit a gym or go running outside? And how long do you take part in these activities?
By understanding how much activity you do, you can then begin to determine how much water your body needs.
Even if you don’t sweat rigorously during your exercise, your body will still be using water to support other bodily functions.
Don’t just assume that because you’re not sweating, your body isn’t using water.
It may surprise you that approximately 20-30% of your total water intake is consumed as solid foods. However, this depends if you eat a high diet of water-dense foods such as fruits and vegetables.
Increasing the amount of water-based foods you eat can help you maintain your body’s water needs and stay hydrated.
The dangers of dehydration are well-documented. Especially for athletes, or for those who have suffered during extreme weather conditions such as heatwaves.
As well as drinking water regularly to gain the water your body needs, you should look to carry snacks of fruit and vegetables. This can help you to maintain your water needs throughout the day.
Fruits and vegetables such as strawberries, cucumbers, and melons are particularly high in water.
Many of us are consistently slightly dehydrated without even realising. Mild hydration can lead to a lack of productivity and focus.
Many of us meet our daily hydration needs by letting thirst be the guide. But when we feel thirst our body is already feeling dehydrated.
Understanding the amount of water your body really needs can ensure you don’t begin to hit these early stages of dehydration.
Your urine will tell you whether you’re getting enough to drink. The darker the yellow indicates how dehydrated your body has become.
Instead, by understanding the adequate water your body specifically needs you can avoid these signs and remain healthy and focussed.
There is a simple sum that you can do in order to know the amount of water your own body really needs. However, this sum is not a guarantee and is only a basic guide.
First, you need to know your weight. Your water needs will vary depending on how much you weigh.
Once you know your exact weight, you should multiply the number by ⅔ to calculate how much water you need to drink on a daily basis.
Then you need to consider how much exercise or physical activity you do.
It is advised by most health organisations that you should add an additional 12 ounces of water per day for every 30 minutes you exercise.
Now that you have your body’s water needs understood you can begin to not only drink more water but ensure that you’re also adding more water-based foods to your diet.