As the weather is starting to get warmer, it is important to think about whether you are drinking enough water to stay well hydrated. Many people don’t pay enough attention to how much water they are drinking and tend to be somewhat dehydrated.
The human body contains on average 60% water. Women tend to have a little less water in their bodies compared to men since fatty tissue contains less water than lean tissue; women naturally have more fatty tissue than men. Older people also tend to have more body fat and therefore less water in their bodies.
Water helps your body:
The average adult loses about 80 ounces of fluid daily through breathing, urination, and sweating. To maintain your body’s fluid balance, you need to replace the lost fluid each day.
The Institute of Medicine has determined an Adequate Intake (AI) for total water (which includes drinking water, water in beverages, and water that is part of food, especially foods that have a high water content such as fruits and vegetables). The AI for total water for men is 125 ounces and for women it is 90 ounces. For water and beverages only (not counting fluid from foods), the AI is 100 ounces for men and 75 ounces for women. Since the Health Plus program focuses on drinking beverages without calories, focusing on drinking more water would be a good goal.
The AI for total water is meant to be enough to prevent dehydration, which is a condition that can cause unclear thinking and mood changes, can cause your body to overheat and/or to have an increased heart rate or lower blood pressure, and can lead to constipation and kidney stones.
Your body needs more water when you are:
It is best to not rely on thirst to determine when to drink more water, especially since exercise can decrease the thirst mechanism. Rather, just drink water frequently throughout the day, including before, during and after exercising.
If you are drinking enough water: