If you’re a regular here, you know that Fooducate preaches the virtues of water almost daily. A question many people ask us, is how much water they should be drinking. The answer is much more complicated than the question, but we will try to simplify.
Our body is 60 percent water. There is almost no chemical reaction in the body that doesn’t require water. The body loses water through the following processes:
- bowel movements
Therefore the body needs to replenish its water supply to function properly. This can be by achieved through
- drinking water
- drinking other beverages
- eating foods that are high in water content such as fruits and vegetables.
The Institute of Medicine determined that, in most cases, letting thirst be your guide is the best bet when it comes to water intake. However, the organization did define an adequate intake (AI) of water per person, per day to be:
- for women – approximately 2.7 liters (91 ounces / 11 cups) of water, from all sources
- for men – approximately 3.7 liters (125 ounces / 15 cups ) of water, from all sources.
- for women – approximately 8 cups of water.
- for men – approximately 12 cups of water.
- Prolonged physical activity
- Prolonged exposure to heat
- Prolonged exposure to cold
- Illness where the body loses lots of fluids
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding
In summary, the body is quite good at letting you know when you need to drink using thirst as a cue. However, drinking regularly throughout the day can be helpful in combating fake hunger pangs, maintaining alertness, improving your mood, and socializing with colleagues at the water cooler.