How Much Water Should You Drink In a Day?
These days, it is a common belief that we should be drinking as much water as possible. Let’s see if it’s true and how much water we actually have to drink per day.
What functions does water serve?
Around 60% of the adult human body is water. It is found inside the cells and circulates throughout the body in the form of blood. Water plays an active role in a number of biological reactions and is essential to the protein and membrane activities.
Substantial loss of body water can have various consequences: from dry skin, nausea, headache to dehydration, kidney disease, or even death.
Our body has a system that regulates the amount of water, where the key role belongs to kidneys. It is their main job to reduce or increase the water levels in the body. Kidneys regulate the water needs by adjusting the production of urine. Another organ that participates in the process is the brain: it inhibits swallowing to reduce the water intake when the excess liquid has been drunk.
How much water is recommended per day?
The water intake doesn’t only come from pure water. All food has some water in it: fruits, vegetables, tea, soup (over 90% water), milk, and even meat or cheeseburger (around 42% water). Cucumbers and watermelons consist of 97% water; melons, tomatoes, and zucchinis are 95% water. Cooked chicken breasts contain 65% water, and the water content of a fatty fish is 62%. Legumes and cereals absorb large quantities of water while being cooked, so a cup of boiled beans is 77% water.
The main point is you need to calculate all the water consumed by your body, not just the water that you drink.
It’s a general rule of thumb that daily water requirement is calculated using the formula: 30 ml per each kilogram of body weight. Please note! Soda, fruit juices, coffee, cocoa, tea, lemonade, and beer are not considered water; in fact, they only contribute to dehydration. Feeling thirsty is a signal that your body is already becoming dehydrated.
If your body starts accumulating water, it causes swelling. For example, your rings can suddenly feel tight on your fingers. It usually happens for two reasons: you either have a B6 vitamin deficiency, or an underactive thyroid gland (in which case your levels of TSH, free T3, and T4 need to be checked).
How to discipline yourself to drinking water?
Start small. Drink a half glass of water more today; add a couple more sips the next day. And keep gradually increasing the amount the same way. You don’t have to force yourself to drink or do it in spite of disgust. Also never try to chug too much water at one time. Doing it slowly, step by step, you’ll get in the habit of drinking more water.
Divide your daily water intake into two bottles. Drink the first bottle (bigger one) throughout the first half of the day, and drink the second one (smaller one) afterward. It will make a good habit. Remember not to consume water with meals – it’s better to drink it half an hour before and after you eat. Also, it’s necessary to space out your water consumption evenly without letting your mouth feel dry.
The water you drink must never be cold. It causes poor blood circulation and, eventually, slows down metabolism.
What if you don’t want to drink water? Should you force yourself to it?
Most experts agree that a feeling of thirst is the only reliable indicator of water needs in a healthy body. So people should drink as much water as they want. There’s no harm in drinking a few extra glasses of water in a day, but it shouldn’t be forced. And don’t forget to eat fresh vegetables and berries, which have proven to be a better alternative when it comes to dealing with dehydration.
Cases When You Need To Drink A Lot Of Water
- gallstones and kidney stones
- intoxication, diarrhea, vomiting
- high blood sugar levels
- hot weather and heating season