So the debate I see among many is how much water should you drink every day, especially if you are trying to lose weight. Once again in doing my research I found that there is NO set in stone amount! Shocked? I am sure you are – we have all either been programmed to think you MUST drink 8 glasses a day or half our body weight in ounces a day.
If you a perfectly healthy female living in a climate that not too hot or cold your adequate intake each day would be 9 cups. On the flip side if you bare a perfectly healthy male living in a climate that is not to hot or not too cold your adequate intake each day would be 13 cups. BUT…. (and yes there is always a but isn’t there): No one fits into a “one size fits all box” when it comes to daily water consumption.
So How Much Should I Drink?
In general you really should try to to consume half of your body weight in ounces per day of water (so for example if you weight 200 lbs you would want to drink 100 ounces per day) but the reality of water intake varies by several things for each person:
- Exercise – the more you exercise, the more you sweat and therefor the more you need to increase your water intake
- Environment – hot and humid climates make you sweat more causing you to need additional hydration. Also if you have your heat turned on your skin can lose moisture.
- Altitude – if you live or travel to a higher altitude area (above 8,200 feet) you may end up using the restroom more and breather more rapidly therefore you will need to replace that with additional fluids
- Illness or health conditions – if you have a fever, vomiting, diarrhea, bladder infection, urinary tract infections etc you need to increase your water intake. But, on the other side f that conditions such as heart failure and some liver, kidney or adrenal disease will require you to limit your intake more.
- Pregnancy and Breast Feeding – both of these require women to hydrate more (I was personally even educated on this when I was pregnant with our youngest child, since I was VERY high risk the hydration would be to help me stay pregnant vs preterm labor they were trying to prevent).
Keep in mind that many foods also contain water, so you are actually getting more water in you day than just the water you reach for in your bottle. Check on your foods to see what water content they have (for example did you know tomatoes and watermelon are 90% water!)
I did find a VERY cool Hydration Calculator that takes into account the above factor to really give you a much better look at what your true water consumption should be. Keep in mind water intake is a moving target – not a set in stone figure. As your body changes and your activity levels change, etc so should your water consumption.
Too Much Water?
Yes there is a such thing as drinking too much water as well as net enough of it. This is called hyponatremia (sometimes called “water intoxication“) – drinking to much water is just one of the ways you can experience this issue. Basically you throw your electrolytes out of whack when you drink too much water. If you follow the guidelines above on how much you should be drinking you would be fine – this condition is very rare but if you are concerned you may be drinking too much water go to your doctor and discuss the proper water intake for you and your needs.