HOW MUCH WATER YOU SHOULD DRINK IN A DAY- IS IT 8 GLASSES OR 12 [SCIENCE EXPLAINED]

Water is very crucial part of life and even makes majority part of human body. water, a substance composed of the chemical elements hydrogen and oxygen and existing in gaseous, liquid, and solid states. It is one of the most plentiful and essential of compounds.

In this article you will get to know about that how much water you need to drink in a day, Is it 8 glasses of water or 12 glasses. And what are the benefits of maintaining the water balance in the body.


HOW MUCH WATER YOU SHOULD DRINK IN A DAY

How much water we need is depends on many factors like, age, gender, geographic location, activity level and many more.

On an average, a sedentary adult should drink 1.5 litres of water per day, as water is the only liquid nutrient that is really essential for body hydration.

HOW MUCH WATER YOU SHOULD DRINK IN A DAY


Before you get to know that how much water you should drink, it is important to know some of the terms related to it like, Dehydration, water balance and importance of water.

There is no fixed answer that how much water we need in a day, as it is depends on many factors like age, gender, climate etc. The minimum amount comes out to be 1500 ml or 1.5 litres a day.


WHAT IS WATER?

According to Wikipedia “Water is an inorganic, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the main constituent of Earth’s hydrosphere and the fluids of all known living organisms.

HOW MUCH WATER YOU SHOULD DRINK IN A DAY
Everything is less in water but it makes up the majority of our body

In simple words water is a substance composed of the chemical elements hydrogen and oxygen and existing in gaseous, liquid, and solid states.

It is one of the most plentiful and essential of compounds. A tasteless and odour less liquid at room temperature, it has the important ability to dissolve many other substances.

Water is a tasteless and odourless substance mainly made from chemical elements hydrogen and oxygen. It is vital for all known forms of life, even though it provides no calories or organic nutrients.


WHY WATER IS IMPORTANT?

Water is essential element for life and make up the majority portion of our body. Water comprises from 75% body weight in infants to 55% in elderly and is essential for cellular homeostasis(maintaining body temperature and fluid balance) and life.

Without water, humans can survive only for few days.

From the time that primeval species ventured from the oceans to live on land, a major key to survival has been prevention of dehydration.

The regulation of water balance is essential for the maintenance of health and life.

Water has numerous roles in the human body.

HOW MUCH WATER YOU SHOULD DRINK IN A DAY
Some people after knowing the importance of water

It acts as a building material, as a solvent, reaction medium and reactant.

Water also acts as a carrier for nutrients and waste products in the body.

It plays a major role in thermoregulation(regulation body temperature through sweat) and acts as a lubricant and shock absorber.

Water intake might be important for disease prevention and health promotion.

Water is a important component of our life and make upto 70% of the body. The regulation of water balance is important for our body. water intake is very important for overall normal health and functioning of our body.


WHY WE NEED TO DRINK WATER ?

The main motive of water intake is maintaining the water balance in the body. The total amount of water which we lost through sweat, urine and various factors is to regain the water through food and consumption of water is called hydration.

Hydration is an approximately measurement of reserves of water on the human body, and a severe reduction in hydration from either no water intake is known as dehydration.

And the amount of water which is lost through physiological factors which is not being consumed, it will be known as dehydration.

HOW MUCH WATER YOU SHOULD DRINK IN A DAY
People who are not able to fulfill their water requirements be like

Our main aim should not be drinking as much water as we can but it should be maintaining the water balance of the body.

Both water intake and water losses are controlled to reach water balance.

So the main motive or role is to be hydrated and prevent dehydration as these two factors makes up the majority roles of the body.

We need to drink water in order to maintaining the water balance of our body. Water makes up 70% of the water and due to various activities we tend to loose the body water. In order to regain the lost water through sweat we need to consume water from foods or direct consumption of water.



When we need to drink water?

We need to drink water when we feel like drinking it, simply when we feel thirsty we must drink water.

But in certain cases thirst is a delayed feeling, it means when you feel thirsty you had already loose upto 2% of the total body water, which can cause dehydration and can hamper physical and mental performance upto 10-20%.

HOW MUCH WATER YOU SHOULD DRINK IN A DAY
Thirsty people when they drink water

We will discuss about dehydration and its consequences in the later part of the article.

You need to drink water when you feel like drinking it i.e. thirsty. But you cannot depend on thirst all the time as thirst is a delayed feeling most of the time. Then your body will have already become 2% dehydrated, then you will feel thirsty.


SHOULD YOU DRINK WATER WHEN YOU FEEL THIRSTY?

Thirst is generally defined as the feeling that you have when you want or need to drink water.

YES, you should drink water when you feel thirsty. It is a sign that your body needs water in order to maintain the fluid balance of your body.

Water is an essential nutrient for all persons. thus, maintaining a chronic state of optimal hydration is recognized to provide health benefits.

Fluid balance or water balance is maintained via thirst regulated acutely by central and peripheral mechanisms.

HOW MUCH WATER YOU SHOULD DRINK IN A DAY
Sometimes feeling of thirst can be wrong

However, voluntary drinking is also a behavior influenced by numerous social and psychological cues. Therefore, whether “thirst-guided” drinking maintains optimal hydration status is a multi-factorial issue.

The recommendation “drink to thirst” is frequently given to healthy individuals during daily life. However, factors and conditions (e.g., age, disease) that influence thirst should be recognized and research further.

You should drink water when you feel thirsty, it is a clear sign that your body need water in order to maintain fluid balance of body. Drinking water to thirst is good but it it not the best way to know that your needs water. Sometimes thirst is a delayed feeling and thirst guided drinking depends on many factors as well. “Drink to thirst” is good for majority population but not good for everyone.


For whom thirst doesn’t work?

As we know that if we feel thirsty we need water but it is not applicable to everyone and in every condition.

Perceived thirst drinking are not equivalent measures of human thirst.

In humans, thirst tends to be alleviated before complete rehydration is achieved. When sweating rates are high and fluid consumption is not sufficient to replace sweat losses, a cumulative loss in body water results.

In my Opinion Thirst should not the sign of drinking water in two categories of people:

  1. Elderly People
  2. Athletes or sportsman

1. Effect of aging on fluid intake regulation

The thirst and fluid ingestion responses of older persons is not good as compared to those seen in younger persons.  The decrease in fluid consumption is predominantly due to a decrease in thirst as the relationship between thirst and fluid intake is the same in young and old persons.

Older persons drink insufficient water due to which fluid deprivation takes place and replenish their body water deficit. Older people feel less thirsty it doesn’t mean they need less water, only the feeling of thirst is depleted due to ageing and not well functioning of central and peripheral mechanism.

HOW MUCH WATER YOU SHOULD DRINK IN A DAY
Older people should drink water regularly but not like this

If elderly people only drink water to thirst their body will be dehydrated and they will not able to perform and feel at their best and their body will not able to perform the normal functioning of the body.

The recommendation would be, because of their low water reserves, it may be prudent for the elderly to learn to drink regularly when not thirsty and to moderately increase their salt intake when they sweat.

Older individuals usually feel less thirsty due to age and not well functioning of the overall body. Less thirst doesn’t mean less water intake its just a feeling. If older individuals only drink water to thirst they will be dehydrated and will not perform physical and mental activity at best.


2. Effect of prolonged physical activity on water intake regulation

During prolonged exercise sessions like running, sprinting, playing or performing resistance training in a gym our body tends to loose water more quickly which is mainly resulted through sweating.

Sweating is just a simple mechanism which our body performs in order to prevent body from heat, also known as thermoregulation.

HOW MUCH WATER YOU SHOULD DRINK IN A DAY
When you feel dehydrated during running

Due to thermoregulation there are high chances causing dehydration. Some studies suggest that dehydration can hamper physical and mental performance up to 15%.

As our body tend to loose body fluid more quickly, it becomes more important to drink any form of fluid or water in order to prevent from dehydration.

The recommendation would be, you should drink a minimal amount of water before exercise sessions and should also take sips of water during the exercise sessions also. You cannot depend on thirst as it is a delayed feeling in this situation.

During prolonged exercise, body tend to loose water through sweating and will result in dehydration. Dehydration can hamper physical activities up to 10-15%. Thirst is a delayed feeling so depending upon thirst during this situation will not be the best option.


what effects does DEHYDRATION have on body during exercise ?

Dehydration means your body loses more fluids than you take in. Simply means a imbalance in the body fluid balance.

A decrease in body water from normal levels (often referred to as dehydration or hypohydration) provokes changes in cardiovascular, thermoregulatory, metabolic, and central nervous function that become increasingly greater as dehydration worsens.

Dehydration of more than 2% body mass is also associated with elevated cardiovascular strain and impaired aerobic exercise performance.

HOW MUCH WATER YOU SHOULD DRINK IN A DAY
Some students during national anthem in school

Circumstances where planned drinking is optimal include longer duration activities of more than 90 minutes, particularly in the heat and higher-intensity exercise with high sweat rates, exercise where performance is a concern.

Individuals with high sweat rates and those concerned with exercise performance should determine sweat rates under conditions should drink water frequently in order to prevent body mass losses > 2%.

Drinking to thirst may be sufficient include short duration exercise of less than 1 hour to 90 minutes of exercise in cooler conditions and lower-intensity exercise.

Drinking to limit changes in body mass is commonly advocated (to maintain ≤2% reduction), rather than relying on behavioural cues (mainly thirst) because the latter has been deemed too insensitive.

When there is a negative balance in body fluid levels it is known as dehydration. Dehydration may impair normal cardiovascular function, impaired thermoregulation and also cause mental fatigue. Drinking to thirst may be sufficient for less than 1 hour activities but for prolonged physical activity it seems to be more sensitive.


How does DEHYDRATION hampers physical performance of the body ?

There is little doubt that performance during prolonged, continuous exercise in the heat is impaired by levels of dehydration more than 2% body mass, and there is some evidence that lower levels of dehydration can also impair performance even during relatively short-duration, intermittent exercise.

HOW MUCH WATER YOU SHOULD DRINK IN A DAY
Performing resistance training in dehydrated condition

The main objective was to determine the impact of hypohydration on muscle endurance, strength, anaerobic power and vertical jumping ability using a meta-analytic approach.

According to a study, where Seven healthy resistance-trained males of age 20-28 years old were taken.

They performed completed 3 resistance exercise sessions in different hydration states:

  • Euhydrated (Hydrated state)
  • Hypohydrated by approximately 2.5% body mass (Dehydrated state)
  • Hypohydrated by approximately 5.0% body mass (Highly dehydrated state).

It was seen that there is No significant differences existed among trials in vertical jump height, But the performance in Resistance training tended to decrease as dehydration increased. The dehydrated group is only able to perform 3 sets out of 5 compared to the hydrated group.

These data indicate that hypohydration weakens resistance exercise performance and the role of central drive as the causative mechanism driving these responses merits further research.

When body looses more than 2% of water it it considered as dehydration and hypohydration. It can impair the performance in resistance training and several activities. Studies concluded that dehydration can decrease physical performance upto 15% of the exercise.



HOW to determine that how much water we should drink?

Human water requirements are not based on a minimal intake because it might lead to a water deficit due to numerous factors that modify water needs (climate, physical activity, diet and so on).

Fluid intake also comes from food, drinks and beverages, including water. People lose fluid via the skin(sweat), respiration, faecal fluid and urinary output.

On a minimum amount an average sedentary adult should drink 1.5 litres of water per day(almost 8 glasses), as water is the only liquid nutrient that is really essential for body hydration.

The average water intake between the age of 12-45 came out to be 2.5-3.5 litres a day. But It is just an average estimate, also depends on several factors.

HOW MUCH WATER YOU SHOULD DRINK IN A DAY
Everyone calculating their water intake

Higher fluid intake does not have any convincing health benefits, except perhaps in preventing (recurrent) kidney stones.

How much water we really need depends on water functions and the mechanisms of daily water balance regulation.

The best method or way to know that you are drinking enough water or not is through the colouration of the urine.

Under normal circumstances of diet, exercise and climate the minimal urine output for healthy subjects is about 500 ml/day.

An increasing body of evidence suggests that the best way to know how much water we need is excreting a generous volume of diluted urine is associated with short- and long-term beneficial health effects, especially for kidney and metabolic function..

HOW MUCH WATER YOU SHOULD DRINK IN A DAY

On the above scale it can be clearly seen that the more the urine is diluted in colour, it is considered as good.

And if the color of the urine is concentrated or dark it is not considered as healthy or it is a clear sigh of dehydration. The available literature suggest the effects of increased water intake on health may be direct, due to increased urine flow or urine dilution benefit .

In order to ensure optimal hydration, it is proposed that optimal total water intake should approach 2.5 to 3.5 Litres day to allow for the daily excretion of 2 to 3 L of dilute urine. Simple urinary markers of hydration such as urine color may be used to monitor and adjust intake.



CONCLUSION

There is no fixed answer that how much water we need in a day, as it is depends on many factors like age, gender, climate etc. The minimum amount comes out to be 1500 ml or 1.5 litres a day.

Water is a tasteless and odourless substance mainly made from chemical elements hydrogen and oxygen. It is vital for all known forms of life, even though it provides no calories or organic nutrients.

Water is a important component of our life and make upto 70% of the body. The regulation of water balance is important for our body. water intake is very important for overall normal health and functioning of our body.

We need to drink water in order to maintaining the water balance of our body. Water makes up 70% of the water and due to various activities we tend to loose the body water. In order to regain the lost water through sweat we need to consume water from foods or direct consumption of water.

You need to drink water when you feel like drinking it i.e. thirsty. But you cannot depend on thirst all the time as thirst is a delayed feeling most of the time. Then your body will have already become 2% dehydrated, then you will feel thirsty.

You should drink water when you feel thirsty, it is a clear sign that your body need water in order to maintain fluid balance of body. Drinking water to thirst is good but it it not the best way to know that your needs water. Sometimes thirst is a delayed feeling and thirst guided drinking depends on many factors as well. “Drink to thirst” is good for majority population but not good for everyone.

Older individuals usually feel less thirsty due to age and not well functioning of the overall body. Less thirst doesn’t mean less water intake its just a feeling. If older individuals only drink water to thirst they will be dehydrated and will not perform physical and mental activity at best.

During prolonged exercise, body tend to loose water through sweating and will result in dehydration. Dehydration can hamper physical activities up to 10-15%. Thirst is a delayed feeling so depending upon thirst during this situation will not be the best option.

When there is a negative balance in body fluid levels it is known as dehydration. Dehydration may impair normal cardiovascular function, impaired thermoregulation and also cause mental fatigue. Drinking to thirst may be sufficient for less than 1 hour activities but for prolonged physical activity it seems to be more sensitive.

When body looses more than 2% of water it it considered as dehydration and hypohydration. It can impair the performance in resistance training and several activities. Studies concluded that dehydration can decrease physical performance upto 15% of the exercise.

In order to ensure optimal hydration, it is proposed that optimal total water intake should approach 2.5 to 3.5 Litres day to allow for the daily excretion of 2 to 3 L of dilute urine. Simple urinary markers of hydration such as urine color may be used to monitor and adjust intake.



REFERENCES

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