How Much Do We Need to Drink?
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine have determined that drinking approximately 2.7 liters (91 ounces) of fluids daily for women; and about 3.7 liters (125 ounces) of fluids daily for men, either from drinks or food that contains water, is an adequate amount to stay hydrated.
Though it sounds easy to chug a gallon of water a day, it is quite challenging for those who lead a busy lifestyle. To help you build a habit of staying hydrated, you must first know the importance of hydration.
Why is Hydration Important?
Water is our primary source of hydration. Other than drinking a glass of water, there are other sources where we can get water from, such as fruits and vegetables. Our body uses water to help cells, tissues, and organs to function properly.
We need to stay hydrated for the following reasons:
- To regulate body temperature. Due to water’s unique properties, it can help regulate the body’s temperature, thus preventing us from overheating.
- It helps lubricate joints. The synovial fluid found in the cavities of synovial joints contains water. This fluid lubricates the joints and helps reduce friction between bones during movement.
- It prevents infection. By taking in more fluids, your body will have no difficulty in flushing out irritants like bacteria that may cause diseases such as urinary tract infection.
- Water helps transport nutrients. When the body absorbs the water we drink, it carries nutrients to the cells. It also transports oxygen to the brain in the form of bodily fluids, such as blood.
- Hydration protects organs and sensitive tissues. Staying hydrated helps protect and retain moisture in the most sensitive parts of your body, such as bones, brain, and the spinal cord.
- Water aids digestion. Drinking water while or after eating helps the digestion process by breaking down food into nutrients, which will later be absorbed by the body. Keeping yourself hydrated prevents constipation, as water also softens the stool. Drink water to improve your overall gut health.
- Hydration moisturizes the skin. When you do not drink much water, you may notice that your skin looks dry. Lack of hydration results in skin looking dull, tight, and flaky.
- Keeping hydrated helps your heart. Staying hydrated helps your heart to pump blood efficiently throughout the entire body. It also allows oxygen to reach the muscles so that they can function effectively. Lack of hydration causes your blood to thicken due to sodium retention, which hinders blood circulation.
We need hydration for good health. However, there are times when we forget to hydrate due to busy schedules. If you do not replenish the fluids in your body adequately, this can lead to dehydration.