We’ve all heard the saying-’eight glasses of water a day to keep the doctor away’, but how true is that? Do we all really need 2 litres of water daily to maintain our health? While staying hydrated is crucial to living a healthy lifestyle, the amount of water we need to intake varies depending on the individual. However, if we listen to our bodies and follow certain guidelines, staying hydrated is quite simple and accompanied by several health benefits!
Besides boosting our energy and improving our mood, drinking enough water each day can prevent illness and aid our bodies in achieving peak performance. Cognitive function is improved, skin becomes more clear and bright, and our bodies reap the benefits of healthier digestion and higher nutrient absorption. Drinking plenty of water also helps with weight loss and reaching our fitness goals. Sounds pretty good right?
So what should we be intaking to take advantage of all these marvelous benefits? Over the years, how much water an individual should drink daily has faced much controversy. While the eight glass a day standard seemed like a fair rule, its validity has been questioned as scientists now consider a person’s age, gender, weight, and activity level as variables that determine one’s true recommended intake.
However, according to the Institute of Medicine the best guideline is 2.7 litres of water for women and 3.7 litres of water for men. For kids, recommendations vary more by age: 5-8 years old-1 litre; 9-12 years old-1.5 litres; 13+ years-2 litres. That being said, it is still important to consider each person’s activity level, the temperature outside, and health at the moment.
While it seems like a vague response to how much our bodies need to drink to stay hydrated, listening to our bodies as we consider the previous guidelines is the best advice. Trust your thirst! When it’s hot outside, drink more. When you are working hard and being active, double your intake. Check the color of your urine. If it’s light and clear, you are doing good! If it’s dark and yellow, increase the amount you are taking in!
Your body was built to tell you when it needs something, water included! As long as you trust it and gradually drink towards your litre guideline throughout the day, your body will see the benefits.