How much water should we drink a day?

Hydration is one of the classics of the summer and on June 15 it is time to get your hands on it. How much water should we drink a day? Some say that eight glasses, others that two and a half liters, others that three … Regarding hydration we have studies of all colors, smells and flavors (despite the fact that the water is colorless, odorless and tasteless) What about true in all this? Is there really a golden rule of water?

5 keys in hydration

1. How much water should we drink a day?

Actually there is a more or less clear figure. If we are guided by  the European Food Safety Agency , a total of 2 liters should be taken in the case of women and 2.5 liters in the case of men . Why? Because an adult loses between 2 and 2.5 liters a day between urine, sweat, breathing and various secretions.

That said, common sense remains, a man of 1.70 m will not need the same amount of water as a man of 2 m. In this case the needs can be calculated individually as 30 ml per kg of weight per day . Neither will a man who lives in Seville have the same requirements as one who lives in Winterfell, I mean, in the province of Burgos. And of course, a receptionist who works under the protection of his air conditioning will not need the same amount of water as a worker from the future  Operation Chamartín . With Manuela’s permission, of course.

For the avoidance of doubt,  this document contains the water needs of the different population groups (babies, children, adults, pregnant women, the elderly, etc.).

2. Does this mean that we should drink a couple of bottles of water daily? 

Actually, about 20-30 %% of total water intake comes from food and 70-80% of direct fluid intake. Therefore, an adult woman should drink approximately 1.5 liters of liquids. This amount scares us  less.

3. What are the liquids that we should preferably drink?

The answer is clear: water . The preferential consumption of water over other beverages should be encouraged, among other things, because there are studies that show that Spaniards do not drink the amount of water that EFSA recommends .

Although it is true that other liquids such as juices, flavored waters, soft drinks and others may be valid to help us cover the water requirements (because, after all, they are made up of water), it is important to exercise caution, friend driver, since Due to its possible caloric intake, the remedy may be worse than the disease.

To begin with, do we know what a juice is? Or rather, do we know if what they sell us in the supermarket is a juice, a nectar or a red water with radioactive flavor? In this post you have the keys to learn how to choose «the right juice» (I remind you that since April 2015 and depending on the new regulations, if the packaging does not expressly put JUICE, the best thing is that you leave it where it was and look for another container with the four magic letters ZUMO).

Regarding sugary soft drinks, my advice is to eliminate them completely from the diet due to their high caloric intake and no nutrients.

Having said all that is worthy and precious, in my experience there are many people who tell me how much it costs them to drink water and, nevertheless, have a greater predisposition to drink this type of product. If it is drinks with low or no energy contribution, and although water consumption is preferred, its consumption may be an option to avoid a greater evil . In other words, if a woman has horrors drinking water but is a fan of natural or “decent artificial” juices or some dirty water without calories, it is preferable that she drink them rather than become dehydrated.

Finally, what should not be considered in any case as a “hydrating solution” are alcoholic beverages, since as we saw in the post of hangover remedies,  these types of drinks have just the opposite effect: they increase diuresis and facilitate the dehydration

Do we have to go all day with the bottle in tow? 

At this point there is some controversy. Compared to the classic recommendation to drink before being thirsty,  there are studies that show that thirst is a sufficient alarm mechanism in healthy adults. According to the European Hydration Institute, while we drink during meals and in the typical breaks where coffee or tea is usually drunk, in principle our water requirements will be covered.

Important! In children and the elderly, this recommendation changes, since these are population groups especially vulnerable to dehydration. Children, because they have a greater body surface in relation to their weight than adults and older people, because they have a decreased sensation of thirst and for this reason they should drink proactively.

5. And the million dollar question: What happens if I don’t drink water?

Water is the main component of our human and mountain body (approximately 60%). If our majority ingredient is scarce, bad business. Let’s think of ham, which has around 60% water. If when the ham dries there is no one to eat it, when we get dehydrated, it is that inside things are not working well either.

The effects, not intended to scare anyone, occur mainly at three levels:

– Physical : decreased physical performance, worsening of the digestion process (the dreaded constipation, which is more frequent in summer), back pain, joint pain or headache. Come on, we are like a rag.

– Intellectual : decreased short-term memory, loss of attention, fatigue or disorientation. That is, if we start to feel groggy, a bad sign. Or good being positive: we will know that it is time to drink to avoid greater evils.

– Thermoregulation : the water that flows through our body constitutes our own cooling system . A loss of water of only 1% of body weight will cause a rise in body temperature during exercise. After 10% loss of body weight, medical assistance is required and death can occur and our “thermostat” goes crazy and our body temperature rises rapidly.

 

The Apothecary’s Advice

In two words: drink water .

And just in case anyone thinks about the possible toxicity of excess water, which could be, this would occur from consumption of more than 0.7-1 liter every hour, since our kidney would not be able to supply enough liquid element. It is not that the water is toxic in itself, it is that our purification system has a limit.

Now, since drinking more than a liter of water per hour in a sustained way is not easy, perhaps it is best to stop worrying about the numbers and how much water we must drink and simply incorporate water into our lives naturally .

 

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