Staying well-hydrated is essential for staying healthy. Without proper hydration, your body will start feeling a slew of negative effects. Most of us know that drinking water is important, but the question is, how much water intake is enough water intake? While it depends on a variety of factors, there are some general guidelines you can follow to stay properly hydrated.
What Happens When You Don’t Drink Enough Water?
When you don’t drink enough water, there can be more serious consequences than just feeling thirsty. Water is necessary for your body to function. After all, the average human body is 50-65% water!
Here are some things you may experience if you’re not getting enough water:
- Dry mouth
- Low energy
- Difficulty concentrating
- Dry or shriveled skin
- Muscle cramps
- Increased risk of kidney stones
- Difficulty regulating body temperature
Of course, this isn’t all. Humans cannot go without water for more than a couple of days. Therefore, by getting enough water, you’re making sure your body has what it needs to operate properly.
How Much Water Should You Be Drinking?
According to a 2005 study published in Nutrition Reviews, the adequate daily water intake is 3.7 liters for adult men and 2.7 liters for adult women. This water intake amount includes any water being ingesting through both beverages and food.
About 80 percent percent of your fluid intake comes from drinks, while 20 percent comes from food. This means that on average, adult men should drink around 2.96 liters or 12.5 cups of water a day and adult women should drink around 2.16 liters or 9 cups of water a day.
These are general averages, but it’s helpful to also factor in your age, height, weight, and activity level to get a more personalized recommendation. One way to easily do this is by using a daily water intake calculator. After plugging in your information, you’ll receive a measurement for your recommended water intake per day, as well as how much of that should be from fluids.
Keep in mind that there are certain situations where you should drink more water. If you are exercising or sending time in hot weather, you’ll need to drink more water to offset the fluids you’re losing through sweat. If you are sick with a fever or are experiencing vomiting or diarrhea, you’ll also need to drink more water to replace that fluid loss.
Smart Tips for Increasing Your Water Intake
It’s normal for people to forget about drinking enough water throughout the day. One way to make sure you stay hydrated is to carry a water bottle around with you. Put it in your bag when you’re running errands, have it on your desk at work, and keep it on your bedside table. Having a water bottle handy makes it easier to remember to keep drinking throughout the day.
There are even some water bottles out there now that have water intake measurements marked on the side to show how much water you should drink by a certain time of day. Other modern water bottles can be synced to an app in order to track your water consumption in a 24-hour period. For a cheap do-it-yourself option, use a sharpie to draw your own reminder times on the side of your water bottle.
Many people forget that drinking isn’t the only way you can intake water. A lot of fruits and vegetables are full of water! Watermelon, spinach, strawberries, cantaloupe, cauliflower, celery, and cucumber all have high water content. If you find it difficult to drink the recommended amount of water each day, you can increase your water intake by incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet.
The Bottom Line
Making sure you drink enough water is essential to your wellness. While we all need water, some of us can get by by drinking less than others, though some of us will need more. GIGACalculator can help you make that determination. Then, by following your recommended daily water intake, you can stay hydrated and healthy.
Cindy is a freelance writer and editor with previous experience in marketing as well as book publishing. Along with her content writing for a diverse portfolio of clients, Cindy’s work has been featured in Time Out, CultureMap, Livability, and more.