When you ask people how much water they should be drinking on a daily basis, you’ll probably receive a number of different answers.
Some say you need to drink exactly eight glasses of water per day, whereas others will say you should only drink water when you feel thirsty. Some will even argue that the amount of water you consume depends on your body weight. How can you really determine how much water your body needs?
The correct answer is that the amount of water you should be drinking depends on several different factors — but most importantly, on your current level of physical activity and diet.
Despite what you may read on the Internet, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to the amount of water you should be drinking. Generally, you should be drinking water all throughout the day to encourage normal and healthy bodily function. If you’re trying to lose weight or have had weight-loss surgery, water plays an important role in your diet and in your ability to lose weight. Water helps aid in the digestion process, and helps properly lubricate joints so you can continue to burn fat and feel energetic throughout the day and during your workouts.
Physical activity and water intake
Water is one of the most vital components of your exercise routine. As you sweat and exert energy, your body needs water to compensate for loss of fluids and to aid in fat- and muscle-building. If you feel thirsty at any point in your workout, you may already be slightly dehydrated. Drink water before, during, and after your workouts to stay fully hydrated and to promote highly-productive workouts and great results.
Diet and water intake
In most cases, about 25 percent of your daily water intake is on behalf of the foods you eat. Those who consume high amounts of fruits and vegetables throughout the day normally get more water from their meals than those who eat processed foods. Fruits and vegetables contain the highest water content, such as watermelon, grapes, carrots, lettuce, apples, pears, and citrus fruits. Make changes in your diet to allow for more fruits and vegetables so you can naturally increase your water intake.
Your environment will also have an impact on the amount of water you drink on a daily basis. Considering your body sweats more in hot and humid water, you’ll typically need more water when spending time in these particular environments. Those who spend time in higher altitudes will also need to drink more water to compensate for the increased urination and more rapid breathing that occurs at high elevations.
Consult with your health care provider about the amount of water you should be drinking based on your current lifestyle habits and health status. If you’ve had weight-loss surgery, consult with your bariatric surgeon or nutritionist about recommendations on daily water intake.