The most frequent question that many of us ask ourselves is if we really need to drink 8 glasses of water per day to be perfectly hydrated and lead a healthy lifestyle.
We are going to take this opportunity to discover if 8 glasses of water per day are really necessary in order to keep ourselves well hydrated. Moreover, we will determine whether this precious liquid can be replaced or not.
When people are asked how much water they should be drinking on a daily basis, their immediate response is 8 glasses. It is almost a forced or automatic response since that is the recommendation we always hear when we go to the doctor. However, what many people wonder is if that is truly the appropriate amount of water we need to conserve the health of our organs.
8 glasses of water per day: is that much water necessary?
Undoubtedly, researchers have investigated the adequate amount of water that should be drunk for a long time. Additionally, several studies have been carried out that allow us to determine that those 8 glasses of water per day, in reality, do not hold the same power that they were thought to have held for many years, since it has not been scientifically proven if those 8 glasses of water actually provide us with health benefits or not.
Water in our body
Water is the main component of our body and it accounts for almost 60 per cent of our body weight. All of our systems and all parts of the body are dependent on water in order to function, whether it is in order to transport nutrients, to eliminate toxins or to maintain our tissues and organs well hydrated. In this regard, when we do not drink enough water, we can feel very thirsty, which indicates that we are not sufficiently hydrated.
Along those same lines, we are constantly losing water, whether it is through sweat, urine, breathing or excrement. For this reason, water must be constantly replaced in our bodies, but we must take into account that each person is different and that not all people require the same amount of liquid to remain perfectly hydrated. This depends on each person’s lifestyle, the weather and the physical activity they engage in.
Medical recommendations regarding water consumption
When doctors recommend drinking between 8 and 9 glasses of water per day, they are basing their calculation on the amount of liquid that is lost in the urine, which can be between 3 and 6 glasses per day, plus 4 glasses of water loss due to sweat, respiration and excrement. We obtain almost 20 per cent of the liquid we need through food on top of the two liters of water recommended. In other words, 8 glasses are enough to replace the entire amount of liquid lost during the day.
A very easy way of determining whether you are well hydrated or not is when you do not feel thirsty at all and the color of your urine is clear, but if, on the other hand, your urine is a very strong color or it is murky and you feel very thirsty, what you need to do is think about whether you are drinking enough water.
To calculate the amount of water that each person requires, the following should be kept in mind:
- When you exercise: when you exercise daily, you should hydrate yourself before, during and after working out, therefore, you should drink at least three more glasses of water.
- Depending on the weather: people who live in hot and humid climates sweat more than people who live in dry and mild climates
- Elevation: people who live at an altitude of more than 2,500 meters above sea level should drink more liquids because they urinate more and their breathing is more rapid.
- Illnesses: when someone is suffering from diarrhea, vomiting and/or fever, it is necessary to maintain him or herself hydrated.
- During pregnancy and breastfeeding: it is very important that women at this stage in their lives drink at least 13 glasses of liquids per day, whether it be water or natural juices.
It is important to keep in mind that the amount of liquids needed to be well hydrated can be obtained through the consumption of fruits, such as watermelon and tomatoes, to name a few.
If, despite these recommendations, you still have questions about the amount of water that your body needs, you should ask for a medical opinion since there are some health conditions that restrict the consumption of liquids. Therefore, people suffering from those conditions would be greatly affected by the excessive consumption of water.