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The human body is about 55% to 75% water. About 83% of blood, 73% of muscle, 25% of body fat, and 22% of bones is water.
Drinking water and other fluids helps to:
There is also some research that shows drinking water may help to suppress appetite in weight-loss efforts. But how much should we drink and what beverages are best?
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
Water is the best choice, as it is a zero-calorie thirst quencher. But you don’t have to guzzle water to stay hydrated. To help meet hydration needs eat your water in vegetables, fruit, and other foods, and drink other beverages including tea, coffee, and milk.
Increase fluids when active, especially when temperature is a factor. To determine how much you need, weigh yourself before and again after your activity. Drink enough during and after activity so that your body weight before and after is the same.
If you want to become more active, speak to your doctor to ensure you do so safely. Exercise can blunt thirst, so remember to take sips of fluid frequently when physically active.
Too much water can be a problem. Low sodium levels (hyponatremia) is a life-threatening condition that occurs when athletes drink too much water while doing prolonged high intensity exercise. This dilutes the body’s sodium levels without replacing lost electrolytes. Hyponatremia is usually seen in endurance athletes, such as marathoners and triathletes, but can also be experienced by non-athletes, especially those taking care to reduce the sodium in their diet.
Signs of Hyponatremia (water intoxication)
Signs of Hyponatremia
Can lead to:
Water is the most essential nutrient for the body. Keep your body happy by giving it the fluid it needs every day.
The content of this article is for information purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.