When you think about how much water you need a day, do you immediately think eight glasses? It’s been programmed into our minds to believe this is the magic number and if we stick to it, we will stay hydrated. However, the amount of water you need in a day is not so standardized as you may have previously believed. Your water intake is dependent on who you are, your activities throughout your day, and your sex.
In addition to that, you have to take into account environmental conditions, level of heat acclimatization, exercises or work intensity, age, and even diet. Thus, you can’t compare how much water you need next to the person next to you. Meaning, disregard the eight glasses a day rule because it might not be enough for you.
How Much Water You Lose Daily
Your body is made up of 60% water. Every part of your body, inside and out, depends on water. It flushes toxins out of your organs, nutrients into your cells, and provides a moist environment for your ears, noise, and throat. Without enough water, you become dehydrated, and this can drain you of a lot of energy.
Every day, you are losing water even when you don’t think you are. When you breathe, perspire, or pee, you are losing water you take in. If this isn’t replenished, you won’t have enough for normal functions.
Individual Hydration Factors
Look at your daily routine to truly focus on your water intake. Going back to the factors that influence how much water you should drink a day, here are some factors that are independent depending on your lifestyle and how you are feeling.
When you exercise, you sweat. If you lose water this way, you need to make sure you replace what you lost. Is it recommended about that you consume one and a half to two cups extra in your day if you are someone who typically works out lightly or moderately.
If you are someone who goes all out at the gym, you need more than just water to replenish what you lost. Your body loses a lot of sodium with intense exercise, which you need in order to stay hydrated. You should grab not only water, but a sports drink as well. If you’re up for it, you can make your own sports drink. All you need is water, a pinch of salt, a little bit of baking soda, some lemon juice, and you are good to go if you don’t want all the added sugar in a sports drink.
We all tend to sweat if it’s hot out. Also, if you are at a greater altitude, it could increase urination and rapid breathing, thus causing you to need more water than others.
Illness and Health
If you are sick, whether your head is in the toilet, or it’s coming out the other end, you are losing fluids. Even if you have a fever, you need more water than usual for your body to try to get back to its normal function.
Drink Like An Olympian
Athletes like Aly Raisman start with a cup of water a day, and continuously drink water throughout the day. The more water athletes drink, the more energy they have to kick a** in the Olympics. Hydration is huge, especially in the sports world, and athletes can even be subjected to urine tests to make sure they are properly hydrated. Otherwise, dehydration can lead to muscle cramps, as well as impede recovery and make you feel more sluggish and sore after training or competition.
Signs of Dehydration
If you are dehydrated and don’t have enough electrolytes in your body, the water will simply pass through our bodies without being properly absorbed. The best way to retain electrolytes is through the meals you eat after you exercise and throughout your day. Being dehydrated is not always clear, as symptoms can include headaches, dizziness, dry mouth, and craving sweets. Sometimes, symptoms that might seem unrelated to your hydration are exactly because you haven’t replenished your water and electrolytes you lose daily.
However, if you are someone who hates drinking a ton of water in your day, don’t forget you can stay hydrated with certain foods too. Being hydrated is crucial to your body, but it’s not as simple as having eight glasses a day. Listen to your body and pay attention to what you do each day, as there are many factors that deplete your body of more water than you might of thought.