Water is vital to all organisms on earth. Its importance can be seen amid all living organisms from aquatic, terrestrial, to aerial.
Water serves as a crucial element of the human body as well. The human body consists of 60-75% water content.
Scientific references suggest that the brain consists of 73% water in the human body, the skin has 64% water, and the lungs carry 83% water to function properly. The kidneys, which work for water retention and regulation, carry 79% water, and astonishingly, our bones comprise 31% water in them.
A decrease or increase in water percentage from the specified range can cause several problems that can hamper the machinery’s functioning, i.e., organs in the human body. This makes us ponder, how many bottles of water should I drink a day?
If a person is thirsty, a loss of up to 3-5% water has already taken place. If the range increases to 7%, it causes mild dehydration. If it rises to 15-25%, this loss can become highly dangerous and may even lead to death.
The water looks like a simple element in our body that is readily available and often taken for granted, plays a life-saving role that is worth acknowledging.
Looking at such significance of water, we need to check how many bottles of water one should drink a day and how we should meet this water demand in our body regularly.
How many bottles of water should I drink a day?
On a generalized basis, experts suggest that a person should drink eight glasses of water every day. But should all of us drink eight glasses of water every day?
Having different bodies, age, body weight, proximities, do our water requirements not differ on these factors? This brings us back to the question, how much water should you drink to stay healthy and prevent dehydration?
The answer to this can not be as simple as eight glasses of water. We need to look at it more closely to understand the personalized need for water.
Role of Drinking water in our day to day life
Our body has everyday food and water requirements, and as said, one can survive without food for over a month but not without water. What is that water does to us?
1. Dissolves minerals and nutrients
During digestion, water plays a crucial role in dissolving. Food during digestion is broken down into primary forms and is dissolved in water which then reaches the bloodstream.
Other than dissolving nutrients, water itself consists of several essential minerals necessary for the digestion and functioning of our body. Our body depends on water for its primary functioning.
2. Regulates body temperature
The average human body temperature is around 37 degrees celsius, above or below which the human body begins to lose its efficiency and the internal organs start to malfunction.
Water, on the other hand, acts as thermoregulation for our bodies. Whenever our body temperature rises, we sweat through glands present on our skin to maintain our internal body heat.
After this sweat on the skin’s surface, it evaporates, giving us a cooling sensation and effect.
3. Act as nutrients and oxygen carrier
Besides dissolving and providing essential nutrients and minerals, water also acts as a medium to transfer these nutrients to the required destination.
These water-soluble nutrients are replenished every few days due to their constant requirement. Hence, one needs to keep drinking water which acts as a transport to these nutrients for delivering it to the vital organ.
4. Elimination of body-waste
Body waste is eliminated from our body in four ways, namely, sweating, expiring, urinating, and passing solid wastes. Out of all these processes, water and other fluids play a significant role.
Where water is directly involved in eliminating waste through sweating and urinating, it is indirectly involved in expressing and passing solid waste. How? Let us see.
Water carries the soluble nutrients after dissolving them to the various organs through the bloodstream. The left-out digested food is further absorbed by essential nutrients, passed out as solid waste.
When the oxygen enters our body in the lungs, blood carries the oxygen, absorbing oxygen and leaving the waste, which is then expired through exhaling.
5. Protects body organs and tissues
Water protects organs and tissues from failing by supplying the essential nutrients and minerals. Daily intake of water ensures the smooth functioning of our body and its parts.
6. Lubricates joints
The synovial fluid, which works as a lubricator for joints, comprises water. Water keeps the joints lubricated and flexible. It reduces friction and keeps the joints healthy.
7. Optimizing brain function
As mentioned earlier, the brain consists of 73% water. The brain’s cognitive functioning drops significantly when we lose water from the brain. Even mild dehydration can hamper our decision-making ability and delays our working efficiency.
These were the ways water becomes an indispensable building block of our body. One thing worth noting, all these processes consume water, and this should be replenished regularly. Hence, drinking enough water to stay hydrated and stay healthy.
External benefits of drinking enough water
The above mentioned were the internal functions that water help in executing with ease. Below are some of the external health benefits of water seen in daily life if one stays hydrated:
- Water boosts energy
- Water hydrates skin
- Water helps in reducing body weight
- Water detoxifies
The correct way to drink water
When it comes to staying hydrated, it is said, “the more water you drink, the better it is!” But is it the case?
The simple-looking activity of drinking water is not that simple. Looking at the rising population and decreasing freshwater, several types of research are being done on proper water consumption and the best ways to consume it.
While drinking less water can be fatal, more research has come up to say that having too much water or a high daily fluid intake can also create health conditions. Hence, a water balance is a must.
Then, what are the correct ways of drinking water for the most efficient results?
Sip by sip
When we drink water, it is essential to note that we require water to satisfy our thirst and ensure proper body functioning. Hence, instead of gulping water from a bottle when there is an urge to drink, water should be replaced with slow and steady sipping.
Sudden gulping of water also causes bloating, which creates discomfort, whereas sipping the water slowly ensures hydration of the body.
Standing up V/S sitting down
It is popularly said to sit down while drinking water. Although any scientific evidence of this theory is not explained, it is advisable to sit down while drinking water to avoid discomfort.
Fluid intake and factors affecting it
Everyone is uniquely structured. Be it age, gender, height, health, or food habits, we all are unique in some way or the other. Hence, saying that we all have the same need for water will be wrong. There as many factors on which the need for water varies from person to person.
The water intake increases with an increase in age, and after a certain period, it gets constant. This happens because the capacity to store water reduces with age.
The percentage of water in babies (75%) is more than that of healthy adults (60-70%).
During the heavy physical workout, the demand for water increases, whereas the water requirement reduces significantly when the physical activities are minimal.
This happens because the loss of water in the form of sweat increase during a physical workout demanding more water in the body.
A few drugs increase the rate of urine formation in a body, hence the fluid loss. This might cause dehydration and increase the need for water. Therefore, a few medications increase the water demand in our bodies.
Drugs that treat particular conditions may increase the body’s urine output, an effect that can increase daily water needs.
Season and climate
Since the sweating rate differs from season to season, the need for water also varies. We need more water during summers, and too much water is not required during winters. Although during a temperate climate, the need for water is moderate compared to summers and winters.
Women require less water than men in general. The average water needed by men is 4 liters whereas women are 3 liters.
Signs of Dehydration
Water is essential, and its need can not be ignored. But how do we know when we need water? There can be several signs that our body shows when there is a deficiency of something essential.
Although the feeling of thirst indicates the acute shortage of water, as mentioned earlier, a shortage of 3-5% of the water from the body makes us feel thirsty. This can be quickly dealt with by drinking water instantly.
But the chronic shortage of water may not look like a simple thirst. It is often added with dry mouth, headaches, fatigue, and even difficulty concentrating. However, it is not common but can be severe.
This condition is often seen in the cases of kidney stones in which the kidneys function more to eliminate the stone. It is advisable to keep oneself hydrated at regular intervals in such cases.
What happens when drinking water is substituted with other drinks?
Even if we substitute water with any other fluid, we will still intake some water. This is because the things we consume consist of water; the percentage may vary. Popular drinks people have to crave their thirsts includes:
- Lemon juice
- Fruit juices
- Coconut water
These drinks, along with water, fulfill other fluids’ needs. For example, Milk consists of fat, carbohydrates, and protein. Along with water, it supplies other nutrients to the body, essential for energy.
Lemon juice is a rich source of Vitamin C that helps in the body’s growth, repair, and development.
Different fruit juices replenish other vital nutrients that alone water can not fulfill.
Similarly, coconut water is one of the best hydrating drinks. It serves as a rich source of potassium and holds better hydrating qualities than plain water. It is often preferred among sports drinks as it provides energy and satisfies thirst.
On the other hand, even caffeinated drinks such as tea, coffee, and other beverages help achieve some water demand within a body and have some diuretic effect.
Like drinks, most foods also have some percentage of water which can fulfill the water need of a person.
How to calculate daily water intake
To get the exact number of “how much water” you should drink, one can use the following formula:
1. Your weight in kg multiply by the following numbers according to your age:
- Multiply by 40 if you’re younger than 30.
- Multiply by 35 if you’re 30–55 years old.
- Multiply by 30 if you’re older than 55.
2. Divide the result by 28.3 and multiply by 29.6.
The answer you will get will be the estimated water required for an individual in a given weight in milliliters.
With this formula, we can say that someone weighing 50kg below 30 years of age would require 2.4 liters of water every day. Provided, the results indicated a stable environment with average physical working conditions.
Exactly how much water is needed a day?
Using the given formula makes it easier to evaluate the water requirement one would have every day. Analyzing all the pros and cons of drinking water and ensuring its proper intake, we can say that water requirements differ from person to person.
It is also worthy to note that it is not necessary to rely only upon plain water to fulfill water requirements. Water requirements can also be fulfilled by food with high water content.
As we evaluated, someone weighing 50 kg below 30 years of age would require 2.4 liters of water every day. This can be fulfilled by consuming water equivalent to 2 water bottles.
Besides this, health experts suggest a secondary way to understand the need to drink water. The secondary way is to keep a check on urine color. If the color of urine is light yellow, then the water is adequate, but if the urine color is darker, the need to drink water increases.
Other than this, if there is a proper intake of water yet the color of urine doesn’t change, it may indicate bladder infection or improper kidney function.
Stay healthy, stay hydrated! Water can cure several problems as it functions as a waste remover from the body. Proper hydration can be a medicine for several diseases.
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