4 factors that influence your recommended water intake
As a rule of thumb, the eight glasses of water a day rule has served us well. That being said, the amount of water it takes to stay hydrated varies from individual to individual. Many healthy people, for instance, hydrate and enjoy the many benefits of great hydration by drinking whenever they feel thirsty. Others feel fully hydrated after drinking fewer than the eight glasses of water, and some people still feel the thirst after hitting this recommended daily intake target. Your personal daily water intake relies on a number of factors.
In this blog post, we discuss the four main factors that influence recommended intake, giving you all you need to strike the right balance.
Water is essential for health whatever stage of life you are at, but as we age, our water requirements change. Your need for water will have increased from when you were a baby, rising from 0.7 litres needed as an infant to between 2.2 and 3 litres as an adult according to the Institute of Medicine. The thirst response that is charged with keeping us hydrated tends to diminish during later life. On the other hand, elderly people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or those who have experienced a stroke may have an increased thirst as a result of their health concerns.
Saga recommends older people in good health drink around 1.5 litres of fluid each day to stay well hydrated and avoid the nasty side effects of dehydration. Good hydration is particularly important during later life, with both well-being and quality of life improved. Maintaining recommended fluid levels has also been linked to reduced use of medication and the prevention of illness.
Your body type is another defining factor when determining how much you need to drink to guarantee good hydration. Those with more athletic figures, who do regular exercise to maintain their body shape may need more water, particularly before, during, and after their workouts. During exercise your body loses fluids at a faster rate. These fluids must be replaced to ensure optimum performance and endurance.
Pregnant women should also drink more water, particularly if they go onto breastfeed. Find out more about drinking tap water during pregnancy.
We all know that drinking more water can help you lose weight by increasing your metabolism and curbing hunger, but your weight can also influence your recommended daily intake. Generally, the heavier and taller you are, the more water you need to drink. That’s because you need more water to cover the fluids that your body loses. Whatever your body size, drinking when you feel slightly parched, sipping small amounts throughout the day, and getting water from other drinks and foods will ensure you stay hydrated around the clock.
Bodies in hot and humid environments need a little more help to replace lost fluids and maintain good hydration levels. EatingWell Magazine explains more about how the weather outside will impact your water needs:
“Yes, in hot weather you typically need to drink more because you sweat more, especially if you’re exercising. Humidity also increases your water needs. When it’s humid and warm—a double whammy—you may need as much as two times more water than when it’s drier. And although we tend to skimp on water when it’s chilly out—don’t. You also lose more water while breathing frigid, dry air.”
Keeping that summer heat from doing you damage is vital. Make sure you’re prepared whatever the weather by honing your hydration habits.