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The importance of water and how much do we need to drink?

Hello! Today I am going to share with you some information about the importance of water and how much do we need to drink


Serve yourself a glass of water and get comfortable to read, Let´s go!!


Probably you´ve heard that water makes up about 55-60% of who we are.

This is completely true.


All our cells are immersed in water.


Different cells contain different amounts depending on the area. For example, our bones are about 22% water, fat tissue is about 25% water, muscle and brain tissue are about 75% water, blood is about 83% water, and eyes are about 95% water.

Therefore, our body composition (along with other things like hormones) determines how much water we carry.


Water has many important jobs such as:

Dissolve substances

  • Transport of substances

  • Start chemical reactions

  • Lubricates and cushions tissues

  • Regulate our temperature

  • Provides nutrients

  • Helps produce hormones

Undoubtedly, water is essential for life.


Due to its important functions, a very common question is: How much water do we need to drink to stay healthy?


When we Google this, Google points us to stories that say something like: “Most people are dehydrated and don’t know it”


They list a number of symptoms and encourage you to drink water so you don’t get dried up like a raisin.


But really: How much water should I drink? We will look at this answer below.

How much liquid do we need?


Most adults need about 3 liters (about 12 cups) of fluid a day.


Since 1 liter (about 4 cups) comes from our food (food contains water), this means that 2 L (about 8 cups) must come from drink.


This amount can be obtained by:


  • Drink when thirsty

  • Drink one or two glasses of water with meals

  • Sips constantly throughout the day




I should clarify that this “eight glasses a day” is not supported by scientific evidence, but it is still a reasonable good rule of thumb.


If you like math you can also estimate fluid need by body weight. For every kilogram of bodyweight, ingest 30-40 mL of water


This mathematical rule is also very reliable. And it is very close to the general rule that we saw previously.


However, they are still general rules and human beings are very diverse, therefore the amount of water you need will depend on a variety of factors such as age, weight, health, activity level, etc.


What counts as water consumption?


All this types of water counts toward your water intake:

  • Spring water

  • Tap water

  • Alkaline water

  • Distilled water

  • Filtered water

  • Reverse osmosis water

Important note: All plain water is good for you, but filtering water removes substances that could negatively impact health, such as heavy metals, radon, pesticides and microplastics.


If you want and you think it can help you increase your water consumption you can also try adding berries, citrus fruits, herbs, and/or ginger to your water


You can also drink carbonated beverage, carbonate and infused water, are generally quite healthy, but their lower pH levels may be harmful to tooth enamel when consistently consumed in large amounts. Up to 16 ounces (500 ml)/day of carbonated beverage is a reasonable benchmark


How much water should athletes drink?


We have seen that this population must pay greater attention to hydration.


Research shows us that people can lose 1-2% of their body weight very quickly when they exercise vigorously in a hot, humid environment. That's enough to increase heart rate, body temperature, and perception of effort.


Therefore, it is recommended for these people to consume at least 3 liters of liquid on the days of exercise (these 3 liters are apart from what you get from food).

This can be broken down as follows:

  • Before exercise: 5 to 7 ml per kg of body weight at least 4 hours before starting physical activity. Add 3-5 ml per kg of body weight approximately 2 hours before activity if there is no urine production or dark color.


  • During exercise: 500 to 1,200 ml/hour or 200-300 ml every 15-20 minutes, which depends on the intensity of the exercise and environmental conditions. And 300-800 ml/hour in racing events.


  • After exercise: 1 liter during the day, with approximately 1-2 cups of water with each meal.

During intense and/or long-duration exercise, of course, more than just water is lost. This includes sodium, potassium and other electrolytes and it is important to replace them as well. Otherwise there is a risk of hyponatremia (sodium deficiency).


Therefore, for intense exercises that last more than an hour in hot and/or humid conditions, instead of drinking plain water, it is better to consume a drink with electrolytes.


I hope this article has helped you clarify your questions about water and hydration, while I was writing this article I got very thirsty, so I say goodbye to go drink water :)


Thanks for reading,


Melissa

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