The idea has taken hold in our heads: we need 6 to 8 glasses of water a day. But after thinking about this requirement for a while, some other questions arise. How big should the glass be? Does everyone need the same amount of water? Is it okay, sometimes, to substitute water for other drinks?
In short, the answer to these questions is: it depends. Even health experts debate how much water we should consume daily to get “enough.” Some of them argue that we should consume 64 ounces or 6-8 glasses of water a day. Others suggest that we should only consume water when we are thirsty.
What’s crucial to remember is that while the “6-8 glasses a day” rule is not set in stone, it provides a general guideline that we all need to follow. One important thing to keep in mind is that many of us are not drinking enough water. We consume gallons of soda and other sugary drinks, but too often we skimp on the amount of water we drink. In fact, many of the so-called “fruit” drinks that are on the market are loaded with sugar, which somewhat nullifies the vitamins we get from the drinks.
In addition, several factors can influence whether we need more or less than 6 to 8 glasses a day. For example, many foods like cucumbers, lettuce, and melons are loaded with water. So when you eat these foods, you are also consuming a lot of water. While that doesn’t mean you will only need 1-2 glasses of water a day, you may need less than 6-8 glasses.
Another important factor that can influence the amount of water you need is the amount of sweat throughout the day. If you exercise regularly, work in hot environments, etc., you will need to hydrate more often than others. Drinking water will provide many benefits, such as helping your body maintain the proper temperature. Drinking water can also provide several health benefits, such as keeping your skin smooth, flushing out toxins, and helping you lose weight. Did you know that water is the only natural food that does not contain calories?
128 ozFor when ounces or cups just won’t cut it, measure water by the gallon. Here’s the math. There are 128 oz in a gallon, which conveniently is pretty close to recommended daily fluid intake for men and women: Men: about 1 gallon of water per day.
Scientists are also studying the impact of age on water consumption needs. Clinical studies seem to indicate that the elderly need much more water than the very young.
So how much water do we really need? Here is a basic but effective method. Divide your body weight (in pounds) by two. That will indicate how many ounces of water you should consume daily. For 20-minute intervals when you are physically active, you should also consume an additional eight ounces of water. Add another two glasses of water if you live in a dry climate and one glass of water for every hour you are on board an airplane. And if you drink alcohol, match the amount of alcohol you drink with the same amount of water.