Last updated on September 15, 2020.
There are many benefits of drinking enough water. But how much is enough? Here is the answer.
Why drinking water is so important?
Water keeps every part of our body functioning normally (e.g. helps to prevent constipation and flush toxins from the organs). Around 60% to 70% of our body weight is water. Since our body loses water every second through various ways (evaporating from the skin, breathing, urinating, sweating etc.), we need to drink enough to keep ourselves hydrated. Our body becomes dehydrated when it loses water but does not have any replacement on time. Dehydration is a condition that can bring unpleasant feelings, and even serious health problems. Therefore, it is important to get sufficient daily water intake to stay healthy and well!
How much water should you drink every day?
Commonly, it is recommended to drink 6 to 8 glasses (250mL) of water throughout the day. This is an easy-to-remember rule of thumb. Still, everyone’s body is different, and so each individual’s water intake varies depending on different factors such as gender, age and activity level. Following the recommendations by the National Academy of Medicine, here are some guidelines for you to understand how much water you should drink daily:
Children of 1-3 Years Old
4 cups (around 0.9 litres)
Children of 4-8 Years Old
5 cups (around 1.2 litres)
Children of 9-13 Years Old
8 cups (around 1.8 litres)
Children of 14-18 Years Old
11 cups (around 2.6 litres)
Men of 19 Years Old or Above
13 cups (around 3.1 litres)
Women of 19 Years Old or Above
9 cups (around 2.2 litres)
You may also need to adjust your daily water intake if you:
– Have a high activity level – Exercise, physically demanding jobs, etc.
– Are in an environment that is hot, humid (think Hong Kong!), or high in altitudes – Those environmental conditions can make your body lose more water so you may want to increase your water intake.
– Are pregnant or breastfeeding – According to the Office on Women’s Health, pregnant women should aim for 10 cups (around 2.4 liters) of fluids a day while breastfeeding women should target 13 cups (around 3.1 liters) of fluids per day.
– Have certain health conditions – Diabetes, kidney problems and some other health conditions can affect your body’s ability to excrete water, so you may need to drink less to avoid over-hydration. Consult your doctor to make sure your daily water intake is safe for you.
Although it is uncommon, drinking too much water may lead to over-hydration, which can cause harm to your health. If you have any concerns, it is best to consult your doctor to know what the suitable amount for you is.
Do you know that there are other ways to keep yourself hydrated apart from drinking water? Check out the useful tips below to help you reach your adequate daily water intake:
How to know if you are drinking enough water?
Checking the colour of your urine is an easy way to know your hydration status. If it is a pale / clear yellow, your hydration level is fine. Urine of dark yellow, amber, or orange colour means that you clearly need more water. Colourless urine indicates that you are over-hydrated.
The colour of your urine also changes according to your health condition. Your urine can reflect some underlying health problems. Check out this guide to know more:
Other signs that your body is hydrated:
– Do not feel thirsty.
– Can produce sweat normally.
– Urinate frequently but not excessively.
Important: You should get your daily water intake slowly throughout the day instead of chugging a whole bottle of water in one go.
Now, let yourself enjoy a nice glass of water! We hope you found this article informative and useful. Share it and sign-up to our newsletter for more articles about your health!
Institute of Medicine. 2005. Dietary Reference Intakes for Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfate. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/10925.