I’m sure you’ve been told that you need to drink eight 8 oz glasses of water every day. Right? What if I told you that wasn’t exactly true. There is actually no scientific evidence that supports this theory. However, there is an interesting fact that is constantly overlooked – water is present in food. Much of the water we consume comes from food – fruits and vegetables (Carroll, 2015). Even other liquids, such as juice and tea, have water present in them. I am not suggesting that people stop drinking water. On the contrary, water is an essential ingredient for life. We need it to live. But… how much do we need?
In actuality, there really is no set standard for how much water one consumes. It depends on several factors including what you eat, where you live, your size, and your activity level (Carroll, 2015). For example, I live in Florida where it is usually warm. I run outdoors. I sweat. A lot. So, obviously, I drink more water during those runs than if I were sitting in my comfy air conditioned home.
The entire body is roughly 60 percent water, our muscles are about 75 percent water and our blood is about 90 percent water. Water is essential for the body to function. It carries wastes from our body, regulates our temperature, and improves cognitive functioning (Schwecherl, 2014).
So, how much do we drink? Well, the idea is to avoid dehydration. Your body has a number of ways of letting you know you’re dehydrated. Headaches, fatigue, muscle soreness, joint pain, and a lack of mental clarity are all example of how dehydration affects the body (Schwecherl, 2014).
It would be amazing if I could throw a number out and tell my clients a definitive amount of water they should be drinking. But the truth is, everyone is different. So, I tell my clients to follow a few simple guidelines with consideration to water consumption:
- Drink a glass of water when you first wake up.
- Drink a glass of water prior to or with each meal.
- Drink water when you exercise.
- Drink a glass of water 30-60 minutes before bed.
- Drink water when you feel thirsty.
More than anything, listen to your body. It tells you everything you need to know!
Carroll, A. (2015). No, you do not have to drink 8 glasses of water a day. The Upshot. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/25/upshot/no-you-do-not-have-to-drink-8-glasses-of-water-a-day.html
Schwecherl, L. (2014). 12 unexpected reasons to drink more water. Greatist. https://greatist.com/health/reasons-to-drink-water