If you are a living, breathing human being, you are losing water from your body right this second. No matter how good you think you smell, perspiration is currently regulating your body temperature. The saliva in your mouth is mostly water. The urine in your bladder is, too. Even the air you’re exhaling is filled with your body’s precious water supply.
And if you are a living, breathing human who is currently looking at the Internet (and you are), chances are that you’ve have been told repeatedly that if you do not find a way to put 8 eight-ounce glasses of water into your body each day, you will shrivel and dehydrate until you are nothing more than a sad piece of boot leather, parched and gasping for a sweet drop of tap water.
But let’s be honest, how much water do you really need? According to BBC News Magazine, you’re probably not as dehydrated as you think you are. You see, humans do need two to three liters of water a day, but we’re pretty good at taking our moisture from various places. Veggies, juice, and fruit are all sources of hydration, and our bodies naturally hydrate with these things during the digestion process. But in truth, we’re probably not eating as many leafy or pulpy things as our ancestors did, so it is important to supplement with water. Two to three liters a day is a good goal to aim for, but there’s no reason to start feeling guilty if you don’t hit the mark.
Your body has a way of telling you if you need more liquid. Feel thirsty? Drink something. Many of us have become so accustomed to automatically taking water like medicine at certain times of day that we start ignoring our bodies’ natural cues. When the body has had too much water, it expels the excess through urine. When it hasn’t had enough, we get thirsty. And if you stop sweating, feel dizzy or fatigued, and stop urinating altogether? You have ignored your body so long it’s become dehydrated, and you need to drink something, STAT.
The way our bodies process water is a fascinating phenomenon. The amount of water we need varies according to climate and time of year. It’s also possible to seriously overdo it on the water, causing a serious medical condition. We checked in with Dr. Travis Kidner, surgical oncologist at the Rox Cancer Center in Beverley Hills, for some surprising facts about your daily water needs.
You’re Always Losing Water
The average adult loses two to three liters of water a day through natural bodily functions, which is why it’s so important to replace that missing water by ingesting two to three liters of fluid a day.
Even Breathing Causes Water Loss
When you inhale, air moving through your passageways (trachea and bronchi) becomes humidified, so that the air you exhale is full of moisture. That’s why you can “see” your breath on a cold day.