Water is your body’s principal chemical component and makes up about 60 percent of your body weight. Every system in your body depends on water. For example, water flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to your cells and provides a moist environment for ear, nose and throat tissues.
Lack of water can lead to dehydration, a condition that occurs when you don’t have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired.
How much water do you need?
Every day you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. For your body to function properly, you must replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.
So how much fluid does the average, healthy adult living in a temperate climate need? The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day. The AI for women is 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day.
What about the advice to drink eight glasses a day?
Everyone has heard the advice, “Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. That’s about 1.9 liters, which isn’t that different from the Institute of Medicine recommendations. Although the “8 by 8” rule isn’t supported by hard evidence, it remains popular because it’s easy to remember. Just keep in mind that the rule should be reframed as: “Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid a day,” because all fluids count toward the daily total
- Water transports key nutrients throughout the body and is important for healthy circulation
- Water helps boost energy levels – Did you know that mild dehydration is the most common cause for fatigue?
- Drinking water helps to naturally flush toxins from the body and decreases swelling and fluid retention
- Water can alleviate and prevent headaches by reducing restricted blood flow
- Water keeps your body functioning properly, aiding in digestion and preventing constipation
- Staying hydrated is also important in regulating brain function