How Much and How Often Should You Drink Water?
by Dr. Jonathan Doyle - Updated November 01, 2021
About 60% of the human body is water. The longest anyone can go without drinking water is three days. Therefore, it is safe to say that water is crucial for well-being, good health, and survival. But is our body getting enough water daily?
There are many health benefits of drinking water, including smooth, soft, and shiny skin and energetic muscles. In addition, having sufficient fluids in your cells keeps away muscular fatigue. Learn more importance about drinking clean water through our last blog: The Importance of Clean Water in Home
Considering how important water is, what is the right way to stay hydrated, and by extension, healthy?
Over-hydration is not safe
We all worried about not getting enough water. But drinking too much water often comes with many risks. For instance, overhydration causes water intoxication, where there is an excessive dilution of salt and electrolytes in your system.
Overhydration may be a minor issue at first. Symptoms of drinking too much water include vomiting, nausea, and headache. Advanced symptoms include disorientation, confusion, and other mental health alterations.
How much water should you drink per day?
We’ve discussed the right amount of drinking water in details in This Is the Right Amount of Water You Should Take Daily.
You will find many scientifically backed recommendations on the right amount of water for drinking daily. However, determining your water requirements is not as straightforward as it seems. It depends on factors like your location, activity levels, health, and others.
Clearly, there is no universal prescription. But when you understand your body’s water needs, you can easily determine how many cups of water you need every day.
Breathing, perspiration, urination, and movements in your bowel are activities that lead to loss of water. Considering the body may use up to 0.53 gallons or 1.5 liters of water daily, it is important to drink beverages and eat foods with high water content to make up for the water.
The United States National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine put the amount of water a healthy adult in a temperate climate should drink daily at 3.7 liters or 15.5 cups for men,and 2.7 liters or 11.5 cups for women.
This amount of water is obtainable from beverages like water and other drinks. However, foods are also important sources of fluids - up to 20% of our daily water needs come from foods.
When should I drink water?
Having established that the body needs up to 8 glasses of water daily to run optimally, the next big question is how and when should we drink the water?
First thing in the morning
Starting your day with coffee can be tempting. But it is healthier to start with one or two cups of water. Your body is almost dehydrated since you didn’t drink while sleeping. So, the water will help you regain your hydration levels.
Before, during, and after workouts
If you are going into a session of moderate exercises, it is best to drink a cup of water just about 30 minutes before time. Moderate exercises here include pedaling on a stationary bike, brisk walking, or outdoor running. You should also drink after the exercise to replenish the fluids you have lost through sweating.
After each meal
Digestion is faster and easier when the body is well-hydrated. So, drinking water after meals, especially high-fiber meals, will aid digestion. The fiber absorbs water as it goes through your digestive system, making fecal formation and excretion.
Before each meal
You will most likely eat less if you drink water before a meal. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will feel fuller than people who don’t drink water before eating. Therefore, it is advisable to keep the water iced.
You should always have a glass of water right next to your bed every night because you might get thirsty. It is not advisable to drink much water before sleeping. You may be forced to wake up multiple times in the mile of the night to use the restroom. That often leads to disruption in sleep patterns.
What is best drinking water?
You have many options when it comes to drinking water types. Each type or source differs in cost and nutritional value. Let’s take a look at them.
You can get tap water from your kitchen sink, dishwasher, or even the toilet faucet. However, many people are concern that is tap water safe to drink. Tap water has been subjected to standard treatments that prevent lead contamination and entry of other harmful contaminants. But these treatments are not 100% effective. And all tap water factory will add chlorine or chloramine into water as sterilizer, which may pose health risks and have a funny taste.
It is common to find a stock of bottled water in most American homes. The general belief is that it is safer than tap water. But is that true?
Drinking bottled water may put you at the risk of harmful chemicals, usually from the plastic. Unlike soda, water is not acidic. However, the pollutants from the plastic bottle can seep into the water it contains, leading to health issues when you drink. We have also discussed the environmental impact brought by plastic bottled in Why You Need to Stop Drinking Bottled Water?
Purified water is the safest drinking water source. So, if you want to stay safely hydrated, we recommend purified water as the superior method. In addition, purified water keeps your skin healthy, flushes toxins out of the body, and improves athletic performance.
You do not have to depend on sugary beverages and unsafe water as your source of fluids. Instead, check out the various water filtration systems from Waterdrop, including whole house water filter, water filter pitcher, reverse osmosis water filter and more. If you want to learn more about reverse osmosis water filter, check our latest blog: What Is a Reverse Osmosis System and How Does It Work