How Much Water is Actually Good For Your Health (Slideshow)
June 24, 2014
Let’s be honest, how much water do you really need?
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.
Water Requirements Depend on Gender and Size
Dr. Travis Kidner, surgical oncologist at the Rox Cancer Center in Beverley Hills, recommends that an average healthy woman living in a temperate climate drink 2.2 liters of water a day and a man in the same conditions drink 3.
8x8 is Just a Guideline
Dr. Kidner stresses the fact that the 8x8 rules means at least eight eight-ounce glasses of liquid a day. There are many factors that could cause a person to require more than the standard amount.
Up Your Intake If You Exercise
If you exercise a little (think twenty minutes on the elliptical), an extra two cups should be enough, but if you’re marathoning it, you really need to double your intake and consider sports drinks to replace the sodium lost through perspiration.
Summertime Sucks Up Moisture
You lose more water than average during the summer because no matter what deodorant you use, your sweat glands are in overdrive to regulate body temperature. So adjust your water intake accordingly.
Your Heater is Turning You into Human Jerky
That radiator is not only drying water from the air, it’s drying out your insides. Keep your heater on the lowest setting comfortable and drink more water to avoid dehydration, cracked skin, and dried-out mucus membranes.
Mountain Climbing? Not Without Your Water
Increased elevation leads to rapid breathing and more frequent urination, which often results in, you guessed it, dehydration. You may need to double your water intake in higher altitudes before your body adjusts.
Do You Feel Thirsty? You’re Not Drinking Enough
Listen to your body. If you don’t feel thirsty and your urine is light or colorless, you’re probably doing it right. However, if the opposite is true, drink something!
Are You Dehydrated? Pinch Your Hand To Tell.
Dr. Kidner recommends a simple test to check your hydration level. Pinch the back of your hand. Healthy, hydrated skin snaps back into place, but if you’re dehydrated, the skin is slow to return to normal.
Don’t Overdo It
It is possible to drink too much water. Hyponatremia is a condition in which water dilutes the blood, resulting in low sodium levels. Long-distance runners and athletes are often at risk, so if you’ve got an intense endurance exercise planned, make sure you replace some of your water with sports drinks to maintain balance.