Staying hydrated is important. We have all heard the adage advising us, for optimal health, to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. Some of us have taken this advice quite literally, including my brother who would line up exactly eight cups of water filled with precisely eight ounces and down his daily dose of H2O in a hurried health frenzy. I am sure that is not what the creators of the guideline intended when measuring what to drink per day.
I believe it was merely an easy way to remember the right amount of water. Although it is a great start, optimization of your water consumption takes a bit more digging. Is that old advice true? In this post, we’ll tell you the real answer to how many fluid ounces of water you need.
There are several factors to consider when determining how many fluid ounces of water to drink in a day, including age, sex, health, level of activity and the region in which you live. But, for a starting point, according to the Mayo Clinic :
Keep in mind this is total water intake of which no more than 20% should come from food and other beverage sources such as coffee and milk. In short, 80% of the amounts listed above should be from the good stuff – straight up H20.
The water you drink a day should be further adjusted according to your workout schedule. As you sweat, your fluid levels drop quickly and must be replaced accordingly. We recommend an additional 12 ounces on those sweaty days. Plus, this will help with weight loss!
Also, if you live, work or play in a hot, humid or high-altitude area, the same addition should be made before signs of dehydration appear. Another factor affecting your hydration needs is your health. If you are suffering from a fever or the flu, high water levels are essential to keep your body strong enough to fight off the infection. Finally, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should consider drinking more water per day.
Please know that these rules are not set in stone. If any of these particular conditions apply to you, consult a doctor for further advice. What we’re getting at is, when it comes to how much water you should drink, the right answer is unique to each person. It is possible, but rare, to drink too much water, so do not consider more as being better in all situations.
Another easy guide for calculating your water intake is this formula:
Weight x .67 = ounces you should drink in a day
I like this method because it automatically factors in a weight differential rather than a generic male versus female conversion. I won’t reveal my weight as any proper lady would, but, I will tell you that the right amount of water per day for me came out slightly higher than the Mayo Clinic recommendation.
Now that you know how much water you should drink in a day, you may be thinking, how am I going to remember to drink that much water? I assure you, it will become a non-factor after a couple of weeks of incorporating a few easy habits into your life, including:
All of this effort to drink the right amount of water per day will leave your body functioning as nature intended. You will experience a myriad of health benefits from glowing skin to a happy heart and adequately lubricated joints.
Drink up…for your health!
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