How Much Water Should You Actually Be Drinking?

The question of how much water your body actually needs is one that you may find different answers for depending on where you look. The typical answer that we’ve all heard is 8-ounce (237 milliliters) glasses of water a day (totaling 64 ounces, or about 1.9 liters). 

Some stand by this as the right answer while others dispute it. So what’s true and how much water does your body really need?

The Importance of Water for Our Health and Wellness

The fact that pure water is essential for our bodies to function properly is well known by everyone. But do you know why your body needs adequate water so desperately?

Literally every single system in our body needs water to function optimally. Removing toxins from the body, supplying nutrients to our cells, providing a cushion for our joints, regulating blood pressure, heartbeat, and body temperature, assisting in the digestion of food, and balancing electrolytes are just a few of the many important functions that adequate water helps our bodies to maintain.  

When you are dehydrated you will start to experience symptoms such as weakness, dizziness, confusion, and headaches. Severe dehydration can lead to kidney failure as well as other serious medical conditions.

Adequate Daily Water Intake 

So for all these systems to function properly and do their job, how much water should we be drinking? The great importance of adequate water is established but the exact amount remains a little more ambiguous. According to Harvard Medical School there is no one amount for everyone, universal answer for how much water everyone needs. 

Various factors contribute to what your daily water intake should be such as how much you are sweating due to exercise or hot temperatures or if you are losing fluids due to illness. Increasing your water intake is obviously necessary in these conditions, whereas decreasing water intake becomes necessary for some people with health conditions such as kidney, thyroid or heart problems.

Some people stick to the 8, 8oz cups of water a day guideline, while others say 4-6 cups of water a day should be adequate. The bottom line is that there really is no scientific evidence for any set amount, just that adequate water is vital for the functioning of our bodies. 

A good guideline is to follow your thirst. Drink when you are thirsty. Be sure to also drink a full glass of water with meals to insure you are getting enough. Increase your water intake if it’s a hot day and drink extra water (2-3 cups) throughout workouts. Pregnant and nursing mothers should increase their water intake according to their doctors recommendations.

 Something to note is that we age, our sense of thirst decreases so thirst is not always reliable for older adults. 

Benefits of Choosing Water Over Other Drinks 

While other drinks can contribute to your overall hydration, purified water remains the best choice to stay hydrated. Drinking sugary drinks increases inflammation in the body as well as causes weight gain and contributes to diseases such as diabetes. 

Having great tasting, purified water easily accessible can be key to staying adequately hydrated. Visit Culligan Kansas City for more information on our water filtration systems and hot and cold water dispensers. Make sure that you’re drinking the best water possible for your body to stay hydrated and functioning at its best!