Every person’s water requirements differ based on a scope of factors.
This is because drinking too much water can hamper the body’s electrolyte equilibrium, which can be followed by a serious condition such as hyponatremia- a condition that occurs when the level of sodium in the blood is too low.
In this article we explore how much person should be drinking, how to avoid drinking too much water and a lot more.
Benefits of drinking water
Water is used to keep every system in the body working properly. It has been well worth noting that water has a lot of important roles, these include:
- Transporting nutrients and oxygen to the body’s cells
- Getting rid of bacteria in the bladder
- Helping with digestion
- Avoiding constipation
- Stabilizing blood pressure
- Keeping the heartbeat normal
- Protecting joints, organs and tissues
- Keeping body temperature normal
- Keeping electrolyte levels in balance.
Providing your body with sufficient amounts of fluids in order to perform these actions, contribute to the body remaining hydrated. Additional benefits include:
Keeping The Mouth Clean
Drinking water increases saliva production to keep the mouth clean. This is effective in fighting mouth problems and tooth decay.
Flushing out Waste
Water aids in flushing out waste from the rest of your body. Essentially, water is required to produce sweat as well as discharging urine and faeces from the body. Therefore, drinking enough water makes it convenient to urinate and have comfortable bowel movements.
Crucial Nutrients and Minerals
Water is packed with numerous nutrients and minerals, as such drinking sufficient amounts provides easier access for these to reach numerous sections of the body, improving a person’s general health.
A person who does not drink sufficient amounts of water, runs the risk of facing dehydration.
So how much water should a person drink? Let’s explore this.
How Much Water Should You Drink in a Day?
There are no safe-guarded guidelines suggested for the total amount of water a person is required to drink every day. The amount a person generally needs depends on the following:
- How physically active they are
- Their climate or environment
- Body weight
- Their gender
Women from the age of 19 onward should drink about 2.7 litres of water every day. Men in the same age grouping would require about 3.7 litres.
Being solely dependent on your thirst levels does not work for everyone. This is especially true for athletes, elderly persons, and pregnant women. In the majority of cases, drinking as much as 8 glasses per day has been recommended.
A Sign of Drinking Too Much Water
A good way to figure out if a person is drinking sufficient amounts of water is to play close attention to the colour of their urine.
This normally differs from pale yellow to a tea-coloured because of the blend of the pigment urochrome and levels of water in the body.
Should the urine be void of any colour, that is a definite indication that a person is drinking too much water in a short period.
How to Avoid Drinking Too Much Water?
An effective way to avoid drinking too much water is to notice when the body needs it. The human body can avoid being dehydrated by sending a neurological “message” to drink water.
This stems from drinking too much water, disturbing the balance of electrolytes in the body.
It is a lesser known fact that drinking too much water can minimize sodium levels in the blood to low levels.
This can have mild to life-threatening repercussions.
However, it is treatable by a medical professional but requires a medical diagnosis.
This condition can be short-term resolving within a few days or weeks.
What are the symptoms of dehydration?
Thirst and passing dark-coloured urine are significant indicators that a person could be dehydrated. Other symptoms include feeling lethargic, dizzy or dry mouth and lips.
If a person had been sick with diarrhoea, vomiting or fever, they can become dehydrated rather quickly.
This can be avoided by replacing the excess water which has been lost from the body. Sometimes, rehydration solutions can be helpful as these assist in replacing the water, salts and minerals that the body had lost. In this case, it has been recommended to seek help from a pharmacist who could recommend oral hydration sachets.
As mentioned before, assessing the colour of your urine is thought as a convenient and most practical methods to determine your hydration requirements. A person should seek to pass urine which is light yellow in colour.
Infants and children as well as the elderly are majorly at risk of dehydration.
Tips for Avoiding Dehydration
There are many alternative methods to keep a person hydrated. All beverages that are portioned with water play a role toward the body’s daily water needs.
It has also been established as a myth that caffeinated beverages or those that contain alcohol dehydrate the body as these contribute to urination.
In some sense they do, however during the course of the day, the water from these beverages still play a role to a positive contribution to the amount of water consumed.
Taking in other Fluids
Fluids such as water, milk, sugar-free drinks and tea and coffee fall under the same umbrella. It is important to know that caffeinated drinks such as tea or coffee can have an effect on the body’s production of urine at a faster rate.
Fruit juice and smoothies also count, however due to the fact that they contain ‘free’ sugars, these should be limited to a combined total of 150ml a day.
Foods also play a role to fluid intake. Food such as soup, ice cream and jelly, as well as fruit and veg with a high water content, such as melon are great examples.
There are multiple reasons why water is still the superior choice.
Sugary drinks can lead to weight gain and inflammation, running the risk for developing diseases such as diabetes or angina.
Consuming exceeding amounts of caffeine can also result in loss of sleep. Similarly, alcohol consumption should be restricted to one drink per day for women, and 1 or 2 drinks per day for men.
To avoid dehydration, drink fluids in small interval during the day. A convenient way to do this is to have a drink with every meal, or with medicine.
Essential fluids can be obtained from water-rich foods, such as salads, fruit, and applesauce.
When to Consult a Doctor
In the event that a person has not passed urine for over 8 hours, they feel light headed or lethargic, appear dazed or confused or experience an increase in their pulse, a trip to the doctor or healthcare practitioner is vital. A doctor should also be consulted if a person has been experiencing ongoing thirst, as this can be a symptomatic of a chronic health condition.
A large portion of the body is made of water, which is vital for cell function and living.
The human body will automatically provide signs when it needs more water. As soon as too much water is consumed, it could have fatal consequences.
Should a person be unaware of how much water they should drink, they may stay to the general rule of eight glasses a day, or consult a medical physician for further advice.