I am one flawed human when it comes to drinking water. I sometimes completely forget to hydrate myself until I feel parched. Whenever you see any celebrity interviews, the first thing they would say is to drink a lot of water. There are some who take this as the word from the Holy Bible and follow it to a T, while others like me only take a sip unless we are dying of thirst. So how much water should one drink daily? On average, men should drink anywhere between 3.5 – 4L and women should drink between 2.5 – 3.5L of water every day. That being said, there are a variety of other factors that also play a vital role in this. Let’s see what they are, shall we?
How Much Water Should We Drink?
Physical Activity: The amount of intake depends on the level of physical activity you do in a day. For example, if you sit in an office all day and there is not much walking, you may require less water, but if you work out every day, go for evening jogs, or use the stairs often, your water intake has to increase. As the amount of physical activity increases, the muscles’ amount of water to prevent overheating of the joints and through sweating also increases. If you are working out, always have water before, during, and after exercising to maintain your water levels.
Climate: Another major factor is the weather wherever you are. During summer, because of the heat and humidity, water intake has to increase to cope up with the general water loss by sweat, precipitation from the body to keep itself from overheating. When the temperature drops and during winter, since we already feel cool, the body does not need as much water as it is no longer sweating. That being said, in cold weather, we generally feel less thirsty. However, the body still requires adequate water replenishment as, under all the extra layering, it is still working to keep the body temperature at the right level.
Sickness: If you are sick, then water intake is crucial to recovery. The body generally loses a lot of fluids, whether through sweat when we have a fever, production of mucus when we have a cold, or in the worst scenarios, vomiting, and diarrhea. That is why we are always asked to drink plenty of water every time we feel under the weather.
Medication and Supplements: Water intake also depends on any supplements and medication that we take. Those who take protein shakes and other workout supplements require higher quantities of water as a lot is needed to ensure the kidneys are able to process properly and avoid kidney stones. The same goes for those who are on medication; some may require higher water intake to avoid side effects.
Is There Anything Called Drinking Too Much Water?
After reading the above, you may be going to drink a lot of water, but there is also a downside to drinking too much water. The kidney can process only so much water at a time, and drinking a lot of water can dilute your blood’s sodium content.
Other Ways To Stay Hydrated
The simplest way is to just drink water but at the same time have a glass or two at a time so your body can actually process it. But just like me, there are so many of you who would get bored with just drinking water the entire day. It is tasteless, and there is nothing much to look forward to other than a trip to the bathroom. So here are a few ways to stay hydrated other than chugging down water:
- Lemon and honey: If you don’t like plain water but don’t want to make something complicated, then just add honey and a squeeze of lemon to give it a tangy taste.
- Watermelon: Watermelon is a fruit that is basically made of water. You can eat slices of it, or you can juice it.
- Tender Coconut: Since I live in Chennai, tender coconuts are easily available. I make sure I drink at least two a day, which helps with my hydration without struggling much.
- Cucumber, Lettuce, Tomatoes: All three have high water content, so if you make a salad, not only you are eating a healthy meal, you also keep yourself hydrated.
- Soup: Soup has a lot of water, and you can throw in other ingredients to make it nutritious also.
- Tea or Coffee: Even your daily coffee or tea intake is a good source of water, so most of you are already having two cups of water without knowing it.
The Bottomline – While it is important to stay hydrated throughout the day to lead a healthy life, too much of it is also wrong. Depending on the amount of physical activity that you do and the weather, experiment with the amount of water you drink to get the correct level. If you don’t like drinking plain water, there are a lot of other ways to hydrate, like the ones I have mentioned above. I hope you found the post useful. Let me know how you like to stay hydrated? Until next time, stay healthy!