“How much water should I drink” is probably one of the more asked questions in the gym, and if you’re not asking this question, you should be.
The Institute of medicine has determined that the adequate intake for men is roughly 3 L of beverages a day, and the adequate intake for women is about 2.2 L of total beverages a day.
We lose water in many different ways throughout the day; breath, sweat, urine and bowel movements and to have our bodies function properly, we have to replenish the water that we lose throughout the day.
Water is essential for good health, but how much water we drink varies on a lot of factors; how active you are, your age, your sex, where you live… No one formula fits everybody, but here are a few guidelines to help make sure you drink enough water.
Exercise. If you exercise (which you should) you need to replenish your water. How much additional fluid you actually need, depends on how much how much you sweat during exercise. For short bursts of perspiration and exercise you need at least three extra cups of water. For anything longer than 30 minutes, you will need more. Try to replenish what you lose and remember that when you breath, you’re losing water too.
When you’re sick. When you have a fever, vomiting or have diarrhea, your body loses additional fluids. In these cases you should be drinking more water, regularly.
Pregnancy or breast-feeding. Women who are pregnant or are breast-feeding need additional fluids to stay hydrated. The Institute of medicine recommends the pregnant women consume 2.3 L of fluids daily and women who are breast-feeding consume 3.1 L of fluid daily.
Staying safely hydrated
A good general rule of thumb is if you drink enough fluid you should not feel thirsty and your urine should be colorless or light yellow. If you find yourself constantly thirsty and that your urine dark yellow to Coke colored, you are dehydrated. A few other symptoms are headache, muscle cramping, hunger and sleepiness.
Although uncommon, there is the possibility of drinking too much water. When your kidneys are unable to excrete excess water the electrolyte content of the blood is that eluded resulting in lower sodium levels in the blood, the condition called hateful hyponatremia.