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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

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      Luke George

      Health Author

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      Last Updated on May 15, 2019

      How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

      How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

      As it appears, the human mind is not capable of not thinking, at least on the subconscious level. Our mind is always occupied by thoughts, whether we want to or not, and they influence our every action.

      “Happiness cannot come from without, it comes from within.” – Helen Keller

      When we are still children, our thoughts seem to be purely positive. Have you ever been around a 4-year old who doesn’t like a painting he or she drew? I haven’t. Instead, I see glee, exciting and pride in children’s eyes. But as the years go by, we clutter our mind with doubts, fears and self-deprecating thoughts.

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      Just imagine then how much we limit ourselves in every aspect of our lives if we give negative thoughts too much power! We’ll never go after that job we’ve always wanted because our nay-saying thoughts make us doubt our abilities. We’ll never ask that person we like out on a date because we always think we’re not good enough.

      We’ll never risk quitting our job in order to pursue the life and the work of our dreams because we can’t get over our mental barrier that insists we’re too weak, too unimportant and too dumb. We’ll never lose those pounds that risk our health because we believe we’re not capable of pushing our limits. We’ll never be able to fully see our inner potential because we simply don’t dare to question the voices in our head.

      But enough is enough! It’s time to stop these limiting beliefs and come to a place of sanity, love and excitement about life, work and ourselves.

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      So…how exactly are we to achieve that?

      It’s not as hard as it may seem; you just have to practice, practice, practice. Here are a few ideas on how you can get started.

      1. Learn to substitute every negative thought with a positive one.

      Every time a negative thought crawls into your mind, replace it with a positive thought. It’s just like someone writes a phrase you don’t like on a blackboard and then you get up, erase it and write something much more to your liking.

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      2. See the positive side of every situation, even when you are surrounded by pure negativity.

      This one is a bit harder to put into practice, which does not mean it’s impossible.

      You can find positivity in everything by mentally holding on to something positive, whether this be family, friends, your faith, nature, someone’s sparkling eyes or whatever other glimmer of beauty. If you seek it, you will find it.

      3. At least once a day, take a moment and think of 5 things you are grateful for.

      This will lighten your mood and give you some perspective of what is really important in life and how many blessings surround you already.

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      4. Change the mental images you allow to enter your mind.

      How you see yourself and your surroundings make a huge difference to your thinking. It is like watching a DVD that saddens and frustrates you, completely pulling you down. Eject that old DVD, throw it away and insert a new, better, more hopeful one instead.

      So, instead of dwelling on dark, negative thoughts, consciously build and focus on positive, light and colorful images, thoughts and situations in your mind a few times a day.

      If you are persistent and keep on working on yourself, your mind will automatically reject its negative thoughts and welcome the positive ones.

      And remember: You are (or will become) what you think you are. This is reason enough to be proactive about whatever is going on in your head.

      Featured photo credit: Kyaw Tun via unsplash.com

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