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How Much Water Do You Really Need To Drink?

Tips to stay hydrated. Improve your mood, energy levels, digestion and much more—simply by drinking more water.

By Maryann Savina Xavier
10 Jun 2021

A hectic workday schedule, endless zoom meetings and tight deadlines keeping you from sipping enough water? Water makes up 60 percent of your body weight. Your body is governed by 11 organ systems which work interdependently and rely on water for their functioning. As your body depletes its water reserves, it sends out signals in the form of thirst, dark-coloured and foul-smelling urine, dryness in the mouth and eyes, fatigue and dizziness.

So how much water do you need? The National Academy of Medicine, Washington DC, USA recommends a daily fluid intake of about 13 cups for healthy men and 9 cups for women, where each cup equals 236 ml. This quantity may increase for those who are physically active, breastfeeding, pregnant or exposed to very warm climates.

 

Drinking water is healthy but in excess, it could topple the balance of electrolytes. Your body needs electrolytes like sodium, potassium, magnesium and chloride in the bloodstream to support muscle contraction, nervous system functioning, and maintain the body’s acid-base levels. However, drinking too much water can lead to dilution of sodium, a condition recognised as hyponatremia, that results in symptoms such as confusion, headaches, muscle weakness, spasms or cramps and in worst cases seizures and coma.

 

  • Blood is more than 90 percent water: According to the study What does blood do? published in the National Center for Biotechnology (NCBI), your blood is made of 55 percent blood plasma and 45 percent different types of blood cells. Over 90 percent of the blood plasma in our body is water.
  • According to the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), the human body needs water to maintain the standard body temperature of 98.6°F.
  • The cartilage which cushions your joints and the disks of the spine contains around 80 percent water. So, when undernourished, it becomes dry, making your joints vulnerable to shocks and blows.

 

According to the study What does blood do? published in the National Center for Biotechnology (NCBI), your blood is made of 55 percent blood plasma and 45 percent different types of blood cells.

 

 

  • According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, your kidneys filter out about half a cup of blood per minute, helping you get rid of wastes and extra fluids. This cannot be done without water.
  • Daily fluid intake can come from food. According to the CDC, your daily fluid intake not only comes from drinking water, but also from food and beverages.
  • Water loss can prove fatal. According to SITN (a Graduate Student Group at the Harvard Graduate School of the Arts and Science) since water makes up 60-75 percent of your body weight, even a loss of 4 percent could lead to dehydration and a loss of 15 percent can be fatal, leading to death.
  • Cells are the major storehouses of water. About two-thirds of your body’s water is found in cells.

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© Copyright Lifetime Wellness Rx International Limited. All rights reserved throughout India. Reproduction in part or in whole is prohibited. Wellness suggestions and treatments discussed in this issue are only indicators of what makes one healthy or not. It may not be an accurate assessment of what’s specifically ideal for you. Consult with your doctor before undertaking any treatment.