How Much Water Should You Drink per Day? 

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“Hydration is vital. It may be so obvious that we tend to forget about it.”

– Dr. Florence Constant

Did you know water plays a vital nutrient to the life of every cell?  Water is a building block material needed for growth and development. Water helps lubricate all our joints to keep us moving.  

We lose water through various functions, such as perspiration, bowel movements and breathing.  It is important to keep drinking water throughout the day and consume foods that contain water to replenish your body’s hydration levels.  Scientist have been researching how much water should we drink every day and have come up with various recommendations.  The daily intake depends on various factors such as activity, age, physical health, size and weight.  

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According to the Institute of Medicine, the suggestions are the following: 

  • Men should drink 3 liters of water per day (13 glasses of beverages per day). 
  • Women should drink 2.2 liters of water per day (9 cups of beverages per day).
  • Note this includes all sources of water (i.e. coffee or tea). 
  • Personal daily requirements vary based upon what you eat and drink throughout the day. 
  • Drinking 6-8 cups of water per day if you don’t consume any other fluids, if you live in warmer climates or sweat a lot. 
  • Drinking milk, fruit juices and herbal teas are good ways to stay hydrated.  Keep in mind the amount of sugar that a sweetened drink might contain.  

Tips for Staying Hydrated

  1. Drink before meals. Not only will this help you feel full but also ensure you get plenty of water throughout the day. 
  2. Spice up plain water.  Add fresh cut fruits and herbs to your glass of water to add some variety and added flavours to your drink.  
  3. Drink different teas.  Try out different flavored teas that are unsweetened. 
  4. Pay attention to snacks.  Munching on chips, pretzels and crackers are low in water content.  Switch to healthier options like frozen yogurt, fresh fruits and vegetables in juices and smoothies. 
  5. Eat more fruits and vegetables.  Consuming fresh fruits and vegetables will help you get your daily vitamins, minerals and fiber.   

How Much Water is Best? 

Scientist have been debating this topic for years and at the end of the day, no one can you exactly how much water you need.  This depends on the individual.  

  • When your total water content goes below a certain level, thirst kicks in.  When you’re thirsty, drink.  
  • Inspect the color of your urine color.  Light yellow means you’re getting enough water vs. a darker shade indicates you probably need a little more.  
  • In high heat and intense exercise, make sure to drink enough to compensate for the lost fluids. 
  • When you’re not thirsty anymore, stop.

Dehydration Symptoms 

  • Mild dehydration can occur when we lose just one percent of our body weight due to insufficient water intake.
  • Increased heart rate, decreased blood volume, dry mouth, sleepiness, decreased cognitive functions. 
  • Patients who experience diarrhea, vomiting or sweating regularly are at greater risk of being dehydrated.  
  • If your child appears drowsy or is having fewer wet nappies, consult with your medical doctor.  
  • The elderly and children are at greater risk of becoming dehydrated. 
  • The elderly may confuse symptoms of dehydration with other diseases.  

Source: Mayo Clinic, 2015 – Grandjean AC & Grandjean NR, 2007

We have written more articles related to hydration for the summer months:  

These are just a few suggestions to help you live your best life.  We believe in treating the whole person with a holistic approach and blend our knowledge and training of movement, nutrition, massage therapy and traditional chinese medicine. 

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Feel free to check out our blog posts specific to pilates, pre/post natal, bone building for osteoporosis/osteopenia, mindful meditation, restorative yoga therapy, partner and endurance training.

Medical Disclaimer: You should also see your doctor and/or nutritionist if you think you may be deficient in specific nutritional vitamins. They can help determine what’s causing your symptoms and, if needed, recommend ways to balance your daily vitamin intake.