How much water should you drink

Health Tips
Last Updated Jul 21, 2020
Health Tips

How much water should you be drinking each day?  This very simple question really has no simple answer as needs vary per individual.  These needs depend upon many factors which include your health, how active you are and whereabouts you live. Knowing about your body’s needs for water will influence how much you need to drink each day.

Health benefits of water

Water makes up around 60% of our body weight and every system within your body depends on water.  Some of the roles of water is to flush toxins out of your vital organs, to carry nutrients to your cells as well as providing moisture to your tissues.

A lack of water can lead to dehydration which can leave you feeling drained and tired.

How much water do you need?

Every day, you lose water through your breath, through perspiration, as well as through urine and bowel movements.  In order to replenish this water loss, you must consume foods and drinks that contain water.

It is estimated that an adequate average intake of water per day should be 13 cups for men and 9 for women.

Factors that influence water needs

Depending on how active you are, you may need to adjust your total fluid intake per day.

Exercise.  Exercise will make you sweat more and you will need to drink extra to compensate for the fluid loss.  How much additional water you need will depend upon how much you sweat during exercise, as well as the duration and the type of exercise you are doing. 

You may need up to two extra cups of water.

Environment. Hot and humid weather can make you sweat more increasing your need for more water.

Illnesses or health conditions. Your body will lose additional fluids when you are unwell such as fever, diarrhoea or vomiting.

In these cases, you should drink more water. On the other hand, some conditions may impair your body’s ability to excrete water and therefore may require you to limit your fluid intake.
Pregnancy or breast-feeding. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding will need additional fluids in order to stay hydrated.

Originally published on Oct 26, 2016

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