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How much water should you drink per day?

Many people wonder if it is true that we should drink 8 glasses of water a day to keep us hydrated and healthy. In this article you will find answers to the question of how much water you should drink in the course of the day. In Life and Health we worry because you stay hydrated.

If you ask anyone, he will respond instantly and almost as if it were the sacred word. How much water should you drink per day? “8 glasses,” he’ll tell you. Try it. Everyone seems to know this maxim of popular wisdom. With so much security we all repeat this, we need to ask ourselves if it is really what we need to keep ourselves hydrated and healthy.

In fact, it is said that this advice to take 8 glasses of water a day, may be the product of misinterpretation. Apparently in the 1940s, the National Academy of Sciences recommended taking a milliliter of liquid for every calorie we consumed. By doing math, this equates to nearly 8 glasses of water for a 2,000-calorie diet. But the National Academy of Sciences was clear in recommending that this amount of liquids could also come from the liquid contained in the food. Also, not all people need to consume 2,000 calories a day.

In response to the everlasting question of how much water should be taken daily, in 2008, one study found that the famous 8 glasses of water a day did not actually have magical powers over health. At least, they have no scientifically proven effects. Stanley Goldfarb, a physician and professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia summed it up, “There is no clear evidence of the benefits of drinking lots of water,” adding, “There is also no evidence that it has no benefits.” That is, there is still nothing scientific to prove either theory.

So, in short, with so many findings that seem to contradict, how much water should you take daily? To understand well, we must first stop to analyze the importance of water in our body.

Water is the main chemical component of our body and represents about 60% of body weight. Each cell and every system in your body depends on water: either to transport nutrients, remove toxins or to keep certain organs and tissues hydrated. If you do not drink water, it gives you thirst, which is a sign that your body is dehydrating, that is, you are losing the water you need to be able to fulfill all vital functions.

Every day, you lose water through sweat, urine, respiration and stools. That is why you must be constantly replacing the water you lose. But how do you know how much water you need? This also depends on each person: their lifestyle, their physical activity and environmental factors such as climate. In general, doctors recommend between 8 and 9 glasses and this is how they came to calculate this figure:

The average urine of an adult equals 6.3 glasses a day (1.5 liters). To this is added that you lose the equivalent of 4 glasses (1 liter) through sweat, breathing and feces. Through the meal, you consume a total of 20% of the liquids you need. Therefore, if you also consume 8 glasses (2 liters) of water a day, you will be able to replace everything you lose.

The Institute of Medicine advises men to consume about 13 glasses (3 liters) of drinks a day and women, about 9 glasses (2.2 liters) of liquids daily.

How can you tell if you are moisturizing enough? If you do not get thirsty and produce 6.3 glasses (1.5 liters) of nearly transparent color urine, you are probably getting a good moisturizer. If your urine is too yellow and gives you a lot of thirst, you need to check the amount of water you take.

Aspects to take into account when calculating the amount of water you should take:

Exercise. If you exercise daily you should hydrate yourself before, during and after physical activity. This adds up to about 3 glasses of additional water. Although it depends on the sport, if it is very vigorous or lasts a long time, perhaps you require even more.

Weather. If you live in a hot and humid climate, you sweat and lose more fluids than someone who lives in a warm, dry climate. In the winter, heated places cause the body to also lose its moisture, so you should drink more fluids.

Altitude: If you live in a city more than 2,500 meters (8,500 feet) in height, you need to drink more liquid because you will urinate more. Breathing tends to be faster and therefore, you lose more fluids.

Diseases. If you have diarrhea, vomiting and fever you should stay hydrated. You require more liquids because you are losing them.

Pregnancy and lactation. It is recommended that pregnant women drink an average of 10 glasses of water (or liquids such as fruit and vegetable juices) a day. Those who are in the stage of lactation, should drink 13 glasses of fluids a day.

Remember that the amount of liquids you need can also be obtained not only from water, but from other foods composed of water such as fruits and vegetables. Tomatoes and watermelon, for example, are composed mostly of water.

If you have doubts about the amount of water you should take each day, talk to your doctor about it. As I mentioned earlier, each person is different and their needs vary according to their circumstances. There are medical situations where the person may have restrictions on the amount of liquids they can drink. And, if you had doubts, if there is a possibility of drinking too much water, it does not happen often but in excess can be dangerous.

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