No matter who you are and where you come from, there’s one thing that every person has in common: They are 60% water. It might be weird to think of your body as being more water than anything else, but it’s true. All your cells and organs use water to keep you running like a well-oiled machine.
So what does water actually do for our bodies?
The mighty H2O wears a lot of different hats when it comes to helping us out. These are just a few ways in which water contributes to our overall health:
- Flushes out waste
- Regulates your temperature
- Lubricates your joints
- Protects sensitive tissues
- Gives you energy
- Helps with digestion
And honestly, the list goes on and on. But now you’re starting to get a better idea of how water plays a huge role in our wellness. Think of it like the gas you put in your car — you need to keep it replenished and without it, your vehicle can’t function.
What happens if I don’t drink enough water?
Much like your car running out of gas, your body won’t be able to do its job well. If you’re dehydrated, the first thing you might notice is a dry mouth. Then you may also feel really tired and start to feel a headache creep up on you. So now you’re probably thinking, “OK, I get it — water is important. But how much water is enough water?” Great question! Let’s go over that next.
How much water should I drink?
There is an actual answer to this question but it varies from person to person and day to day. Your water intake all depends on a number of factors like exercise, temperature, age, weight and so on. But just to give you a ballpark estimate, The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine estimates the average, healthy adult should drink 3.7 liters of water (for men) and 2.7 liters of water (for women) every day. And if you do the math, 3.7 liters amounts to roughly eight glasses of 16 ounces of water — which is probably where the well-known “eight glasses a day” suggestion came from!
What about electrolytes? Where do they come in?
Generally, if you’re exercising for more than an hour, it’s time to re-up your electrolytes. That’s where sports drinks (not energy drinks!) come in handy. They can help replace electrolytes lost through sweating and usually have sugar added for energy during longer workouts.
Does this mean I need to measure how much water I drink every day?
Well, yes and no. It’s good to always have a reusable bottle on hand so you have easy access to sip on some water. But it’s not really an exact science. Just make sure you’re getting adequate water for your lifestyle and watch for signs of dehydration. The good news is that water comes from a lot of other foods and beverages we consume throughout the day anyways. Vegetables and fruit are chocked full of water content, and other drinks like milk and tea are mostly water too. So it’s not really hard to hit that daily benchmark for hydration!