Individual hydration needs vary from day to day. There is no scientific evidence to support the claim that we should all drink 8 glasses of water per day. On average, adults need about 2 – 3 litres or 9 – 12 cups of fluid each day.
The goal of hydration is to ensure maintenance of body systems. Being just 2% dehydrated can affect mental functioning and athletic performance. Dehydration can also lead to higher blood glucose levels, as the glucose in blood becomes more concentrated when there is less fluid present. That’s why it’s important to drink and stay hydrated before signs of dehydration appear.
An adult loses about 10 cups of water per day through breathing, sweating, and urinating. This amount is usually easily replaced through regular eating and drinking. However, long periods of time without drinking can lead to fatigue, headache, and other symptoms of mild dehydration.
Signs of Dehydration
- dry, sticky mouth
- sleepiness or tiredness
- dry skin
- decreased urine output, and dark urine
- dizziness or lightheadedness
- muscle cramping