Now That Summer’s Almost Here, How Much Water Should You Ideally Drink?
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The popular belief is that 8–10 glasses of water is what is required for your body to stay healthy. However, nutritionists across the world don’t agree with that.
Summer is here and my constant rant to my kids is ‘drink more water’. Staying hydrated plays a very important role in keeping our organs and body functioning properly. With everyone out and about most of the day, making sure you’re drinking enough water is necessary.
Now, a very important question is, how much water is enough?
The popular belief is that 8–10 glasses of water is what is required for your body to stay healthy. However, nutritionists across the world don’t agree with that. They have a couple of theories of their own; some advise drinking 12–15 glasses of any fluid, which includes tea, juices, soup, and water.
So let’s clear up your confusion. Here are things you should keep in mind before you tank up.
Your lifestyle: If you are a person who works outdoors or spends a lot of time outside in the sun, then 8–10 glasses are just not going to be enough to keep you hydrated and healthy. You would need a lot more than that. However, if you stay indoors and live a sedentary lifestyle, then those 8–10 glasses would actually be harming you. Since you won’t sweat as much indoors and are probably cooling yourself using an air-conditioner, the water will not flush out the toxins as effectively which will put a strain on your kidneys. The result could be edema—swollen feet and hands which are quite uncomfortable and sometimes painful.
The weather: During the summer, you need to stay hydrated to make sure that you don’t lose electrolytes. When it’s cooler and you are at a higher altitude, then too you need to be aware of your liquid intake. You would notice that you don’t feel as thirsty in the winter. That’s because you’re not sweating enough and losing any water content.
Breastfeeding: Women who are pregnant or are breastfeeding need additional fluids to keep them hydrated. As per the Mayo Clinic, pregnant women drink about 10 cups of fluids daily, and women who breastfeed have about 13 cups of fluids a day. They need to keep themselves hydrated with all sorts of fluids so that the baby gets enough nourishment and the mom or mom-to-be stays healthy.
Overall health: If you’re unwell then drinking water is a way of staying hydrated. If you have fever, diarrhoea, or have been throwing up, that means your body is losing water. So you need to keep drinking to make sure the kidneys are working properly and flushing out the unrequired things. So in this case, drink up. Don’t limit your intake. Your body needs replenishing.
Hence, the thumb rule to follow is that if you’re thirsty then that’s your body telling you that you need to drink water; if your pee turns dark yellow that also means you need more water. So drink when you’re thirsty, that’s a no-brainer, right?