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How Much Water Should You Drink in a Day?

The human body needs water. After all, approximately 60 to 65 percent of our bodies are made up of water, and we constantly need to replenish it since we are constantly losing water. We lose it through sweat, urination, bowel movements, and breathing. At high temperatures we lose up to 1.5 liters of water through sweat every hour. In such conditions the body won’t reach fatal levels of dehydration; however, losing water impairs the body’s ability to control its core temperature, and heatstroke will become a concern.How much water should you drink in a day?

So how much water should you drink to stay healthy and hydrated? There’s no easy answer to this, as the ideal amount depends on your weight, activity level, and the temperature. The Institute of Medicine recommends roughly 13 cups of total fluids a day for men and nine cups for women, presuming a temperate climate and average activity level. This doesn’t just include water; a diet high in fruit and vegetables supplies about 20 percent of our daily water intake. Drinks other than water also count toward total fluid intake, although water is a healthier choice.

Dehydration: the Consequence of Low Water Intake

Many people have experienced mild dehydration from not drinking enough water. In addition to thirst, mild dehydration causes a decrease in urine output and saliva, and urine develops a dark color and strong odor. This is nature’s way of telling the body to find a water source as quickly as possible.

Moderate dehydration is less common in water-rich nations like the USA, but many may have felt the symptoms. The mouth and eyes feel very dry, and urine output drops even more while the heartbeat increases.

When severe dehydration occurs, urine output stops and lethargy develops. The skin becomes cold to the touch and bluish-gray. Vomiting and diarrhea set in, diminishing even more water reserves. Blood pressure plummets, and soon the body cannot survive any longer.

Avoiding Dehydration

As a general rule, you’re not at risk of dehydration if you don’t feel thirsty and your urine is either colorless or a light yellow. Drink water whenever you feel thirsty, and have a glass of water with every meal. If you’re exerting yourself, increase water intake before, during, and after exercise. Keep a reusable water bottle on hand to remind yourself to drink water throughout the day. Consider a larger bottle that holds at least 24 ounces so you won’t have to refill it as often. You can take the reusable bottle to go, and continue to stay hydrated and healthy.

Disclaimer: The information on this website has not been reviewed by the FDA. Products offered for sale herein are not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. No medical claims are being made or implied. Contaminants mentioned are not necessarily in your water.

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