Did you know that our body weight is composed of approximately 60 percent water? Our body uses water in all its cells, organs, and tissues to help regulate its temperature, metabolism and maintain other bodily functions. Because our body loses water through breathing, sweating, and digestion, it’s important to rehydrate by drinking fluids and eating foods that contain water. The amount of water you need depends on a variety of factors, including the climate you live in, how physically active you are, and whether you’re experiencing an illness or have any other health problems.
How Much Water Do You Need?
There’s no hard and fast rule, and many individuals meet their daily hydration needs by simply drinking water when they’re thirsty, according to a report on nutrient recommendations from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. In fact, most people who are in good physical health get enough fluids by drinking water and other beverages when they’re thirsty, and also by drinking a beverage with each of their meals, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. If you’re not sure about your hydration level, look at your urine. If it’s clear, you’re in good shape. If it’s dark, you’re probably dehydrated.
- The report did not specify exact requirements for water, but set general recommendations for women at approximately 2.7 litters of total water from all beverages and foods each day, and men an average of approximately 3.7 litters of total water. The panel did not set an upper level for water.
- About 80 percent of people’s total water intake comes from drinking water and beverages including caffeinated beverages and the other 20 percent is derived from food.
- Prolonged physical activity and heat exposure will increase water losses and therefore may raise daily fluid needs.