Water is essential in life. Our body uses water in almost all our bodily functions like cellular repair and temperature regulation.
Heck, we are even made of almost 70% water. No one can deny that a life without water will lead to no life at all (literally in just three days!).
But do you really need to gulp 8 glasses of water? If you’re like me, it’s so hard to lug around liters of water everywhere. To finally settle the score, let us investigate.
History of the 8-Glasses Adage
Multiple organizations have recommended everyone to drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water. But who even said this? It was based on past studies. But the tipping point of this viral adage is the announcement of the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council.
In 1945, they announced that adults should drink 2.5 liters of water per day. Although, it was also noted that you can get these nutrition requirements from consumption of food (like fruits, vegetables, soup, etc.) or other beverages (like tea, milk, soft drinks, etc.)
But beverage companies and media focused on drinking 8 glasses alone. As featured in an informational web series, it’s unlikely that we all need to go out of our way to drink roughly 2-3 liters of water a day (the equivalent of 8-10 glasses) for a healthy life.
Some “studies” that point to such are funded by the beverage companies themselves. It’s like a marketing ploy to entice buyers of the almost non-existent dehydration problem for most. In fact, experts expressed that, although we should drink water, this is a gross estimation of how much we truly need.
We should watch out because the threat hyponatremia (overhydration) is truly present. Drinking too much water all at once is dangerous. It has even killed people during sports activity. You should not drink more than 0.8 to 1 liter of water in an hour.
How Much Should We Take Then?
So we are left with the proverbial question, how much should we drink per day? The answer is: it depends. It depends on your body type, activities you take, and the climate you are in.
In general, we should replenish the water that was lost in the body. On average, the body loses 1 to 1.5 liters of water per day. People who have bigger builds might even lose more.
Individuals doing exercise or rigorous physical activities will definitely more water, and during summer (or generally every time in a tropical country) the requirements go higher.
With this, an average of 1.2 liters might be enough.
Check You Pee
But how do we know our personal number? Generally, it depends but these are telltale signs that you need water.
When you pee, is it clear or light yellow? If not, you might be dehydrated. The body has an amazing mechanism to store water. When s/he lacks water, the urine becomes overly concentrated with waste.
This is a sign. But don’t get drinking gallons right away. You want to slowly rehydrate yourself. Get out of the sun. Lose some clothes. Use an ice pack and sip some water.
The Greatest Indicator: Trust your Inner Thirstiness.
What if your pee is normal? But you just can’t stand the lack of control. You really want to know when you exactly need water. On the dot!
There is one trusty indicator for you. Just feel if you’re thirsty.
The body regulates water balance in our body. So if you need water at this moment, your body sends signals of thirst.
To sum it up, you don’t need to be super conscious of your water needs. You just need to let your body talk.
Just drink when you are thirsty and don’t drink when you’re not. Problem Solved!