Drinking water is essential to a good health, but the amount of water that's needed per day varies per individual. So the above question is simple, but does not have an easy answer. Several studies have produced varying recommendations over the years. Your water needs depend on many factors, including how active you are, where you live and how healthy you are. In general, doctors recommend drinking 8 or 9 cups of water.
It is recommended to drink before you actually get thirsty. By the way, the amount of water we drink is usually determined by our habits and not by our thirst.
On an average, 70% of our body consists of water. Part of that water is in our blood, intercellular, the remainder is required for the functioning of our organs, like the brains, heart, lungs, muscles and liver. Even 22% of our bones consist of water and did you know that even 10% of our teeth are water?
Every day we lose body fluids and those fluids must be constantly replenished. In this way we ensure that all physiological systems are working well, that we strengthen our defenses and that we prevent diseases. With water we remove the waste from our bodies, regulate our body heat and we transport vitamins, minerals and other nutrients through our body.
Under normal circumstances, the amount of water that the body excretes should be as large as the amount of water it receives. The fluid level must be balanced.
We lose around 10.5 cups of water every day:
- 6 cups via our urine
- 0.5 cups via our stools
- 2 cups through the lungs
- 2 cups via the skin by sweating
We need to supplement this loss. Normally we get about 4 cups of fluid from food. That means we also need to drink 6.5 cups of water each day to maintain our water balance.
The amount of fluid we need varies from person to person. For example, children need more water than adults. Also the body weight, age and physical activity determine the need for water. For instance, a running athlete loses a lot of water through breathing and sweating. Finally, the ambient temperature plays an important role in the need for water. All these factors make it difficult to determine what the individual need for water is.
People can go thirty to forty days without food, but at the most three days without water, an important indication how important water is for humans.