How much water a day do you need?
The recommended amount is usually cited as just under 2 liters water (8 1/2 c). We often hear about 1.9 liters–the 8 8-ounce glasses of water recommendation.
Factors the influence your water needs: exercise [you require more water, but it depends on how much exercise you do], environment [humidity means you sweat and need more water, and so can high altitudes], health/illness [diarrhea or vomiting means you need more water, maybe even rehydration solutions like Gatorade, Powerade and CeraLyte. Health conditions like bladder infections, urinary tract stones may mean you need more water, BUT heart failure, some types of kidney, liver and adrenal diseases, may impair excretion of water and even require that you limit your fluid intake]
… and PREGNANCY or BREASTFEEDING [you need additional fluids to stay hydrated–pregnant women require 10 cups or 2.3 liters and breastfeeding women need 13 cups or 3.1 liters, according to the Institute of Medicine recommends that pregnant women drink about 10 cups (2.3 liters) of fluids daily and women who breast-feed consume about 13 cups (3.1 liters ).
Water helps your body in several ways. Think about how not having water could hurt it:
– It helps dissolve mineral and nutrients so your body can use them.
– It helps prevent constipation
– It carries nutrients and oxygen to cells
– It flushes out waste products and makes the job performed by your kidneys easier
– It lubricates your joints
– It regulates your body temperature
– It moistens tissues (like your eyes, mouth and nose)
– It protects your organs and tissues
If you don’t really like drinking water, but want to try to drink more of it, here are a couple things you can try:
– Add lemon or lime to water to give it a little flavor.
– Put a glass beside you, and you might just start taking sips.
– Add ice cubes. Or add frozen fruit ice cubes.
What water NOT to drink a lot of: mineral water.
It has a salt (usually, not always). This will cause you to retain fluids.