Water is one of the main ingredients of Earth, and is necessary for life. It makes up 50-75% of the human body. Therefore, it is crucial to receive the optimal amount of water daily.
How much water do you need daily? The amount of water that is needed daily varies from one person to another, and there are several factors that can change this amount. For example, a healthy toddler needs a different amount of water than a very active 30 year old woman, as well as someone who has kidney disease. General factors that change the daily requirement of water are based on gender, age, weight, activity level, location, diet, state of health (if you are in good health, or have an acute or chronic illness).
There have been studies done to determine the amount of water necessary for human life to prevent dehydration. These concluded that the main determinant is the metabolic state of the individual. However, it is so variable how much water is necessary for optimal health. Recommendations have been established that can help guide the amount of water needed daily.
Here are the recommendations from The Dietary Reference Intakes for Water:
1 -3 yrs of age —- 1.3L/day,
4 -8 yrs of age — 1.7L/day,
Boys (9 – 13 years of age)— 2.4L/day,
Girls (9 – 13 years of age)—2.1L/day,
Boys (14 – 18 years of age)—3.3L/day,
Girls (14 – 18 years of age ) —2.3L/day,
Men (19 – 70+)— 3.7L/day,
Women (19 -70+)—2.7L/day
These recommendations may be a start to making sure you are staying hydrated daily. Also, you can consider physical signs such as if you feel thirsty, if the color of your urine is a light yellow versus a dark orange color. The lighter the urine usually indicates the body is more hydrated, and the darker signifies it is dehydrated.
Water is absolutely essential for the body. What are the ways in which water can be obtained? There are multiple beverages available that contain water in them. From fruit juices, sodas, teas, caffeinated beverages, as well as carbonated waters, and milks, these all contain water. When you choose these beverages, consider the amounts of sugars, and other ingredients that these drinks have and the affect it may have on your body. Also, water is found in certain foods. Whole fruits and green leafy vegetables can provide water into your diet as well.
For the next 3 days, record how much water you take in daily, and how you feel, as well as the color of your urine. Based on what you find, make any necessary adjustments to make sure your body is getting an optimal amount of water daily.
Reference: Grandejean, A. (2004). Water Requirements, Impinging Factors, and Recommended Intakes. World Health Organization.