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How Much Water Should You Drink Each Day (and How Much Is Too Much for You)

How Much Water Should You Drink Each Day (and How Much Is Too Much for You)

We all know that water is important to general health and well-being. But are you actually drinking the right amount of water? Perhaps you suspect that some of your health issues are related to dehydration or over-hydration? Getting the right amount of daily water is important because your body needs this to function properly.

How much water should you drink each day

For a long time, conventional wisdom suggested that we drink 8 glasses of water a day. However, this figure does not have any basis in scientific evidence.[1]

Experts instead advise that each person should drink the right amount of water for their body weight, level of physical activity and the climate.

So if not 8 glasses, how much?

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The scientific answer that most healthcare professionals and experts agree on comes from the IoM (Institute of Medicine). The IoM is an independent, non-profit scientific organization and they recommend 2.7 liters of water a day for adult women and the figure of 3.7 liters for adult men. This is generally applicable to adults who have reasonably good health and live a sedentary lifestyle in a temperate climate.

    However, there are instances where you may need to drink more water. For example, if you are in a hot climate or take part in demanding physical activity. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, you should aim to add 12 ounces of water to your daily intake for every 30 minutes of demanding physical activity.[2]

    Why human beings need that much water

    To put it simply, your body cannot function well without the right amount of hydration. This makes sense when you consider that water makes up around 60% of our body weight.

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    The human body has many important functions to perform and needs water to do most of them. For example, your blood needs to carry oxygen to all the cells in your body but it can only do this with water.[3]

    Are you drinking the right amount of water?

    If you are not drinking the right amount of water, then you are either dehydrated or over-hydrated.

    Signs of drinking too little water

    Here are some simple things to look out for if you are dehydrated:

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      • Your mouth is dry
      • The color of your urine is dark
      • You feel dizzy or have headaches
      • You generally feel tired or lethargic

      Signs of drinking too much water

      On the other hand, over-hydration or hyponatremia is usually caused by the over consumption of water in a short amount of time. This can lead to water intoxication and early symptoms of water intoxication can look like the symptoms of exhaustion and heatstroke.

      Here are some common symptoms to check for if you are worried about over-hydration:

      • Nausea
      • Vomiting
      • Diarrhea

      Watch this video to find out what happen when you drink too much water:

      Quick ways to adjust your water intake

      The sad truth is that most people are likely to be dehydrated instead of over-hydrated. In fact, some estimate that as many as 75% of Americans are dehydrated.[4]

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      If you are not drinking enough water then you can remedy this by knowing what your correct daily water intake is and drinking up to that amount.

      Here are some quick ideas to get more water into your diet:

      Now that you have an idea of how much water you should drink in a day according to scientists, it’s time to adjust your water intake accordingly.

      While reading this article, you might have discovered that you need to drink less water. However, if you’ve learned that you need more water, then you can do this simply by flavoring water with herbs, keeping track with an app and eating water-rich fruits like watermelons.

      Getting the right amount of daily hydration into your diet will not just benefit your health but also your well-being.

      Featured photo credit: Luke George via mrwatergeek.com

      Reference

      [1] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: “Drink at least eight glasses of water a day.” Really? Is there scientific evidence for “8 x 8”?
      [2] American College of Sports Medicine: ACSM Information On Selecting and Effectively Using Hydration for Fitness
      [3] University of Rochester Medical Center: Overview of Blood and Blood Components
      [4] University of Florida Health Podcasts: Studies Show Most Americans Are Dehydrated

      More by this author

      Luke George

      Health Author

      Benefits of Water: Science Proved 5 Great Reasons to Stay Hydrated Best Water to Drink Best Water to Drink (The Ultimate Guide to Drink for Better Health) How Much Water Should You Drink In A Day How Much Water Should You Drink Each Day (and How Much Is Too Much for You)

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      Last Updated on September 16, 2019

      How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

      How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

      You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

      We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

      The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

      Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

      1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

      Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

      For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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      • (1) Research
      • (2) Deciding the topic
      • (3) Creating the outline
      • (4) Drafting the content
      • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
      • (6) Revision
      • (7) etc.

      Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

      2. Change Your Environment

      Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

      One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

      3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

      Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

      Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

      My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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      Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

      4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

      If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

      Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

      I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

      5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

      I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

      Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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      As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

      6. Get a Buddy

      Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

      I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

      7. Tell Others About Your Goals

      This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

      For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

      8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

      What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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      9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

      If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

      Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

      10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

      Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

      Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

      11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

      At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

      Reality check:

      I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

      More About Procrastination

      Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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