How Much Should I Hydrate Every Day?

pHion Balance  |  0 Comment

There are different recommendations for water intake each day. Most people have been told they should be drinking six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day, which is a reasonable goal. However, different people need different amounts of water to stay hydrated. Most healthy people can stay well hydrated by drinking water and other fluids whenever they feel thirsty. For some people, fewer than 8 glasses may be enough. Other people may need more than 8 glasses each day.

Some people are at higher risk of dehydration, including those who get a lot of exercise, have certain medical conditions, are sick, or are not able to get enough fluids during the course of the day. Older adults are also at higher risk. As you age, your brain may be unable to sense dehydration and send the signals for thirst.

If you are concerned that you may not be drinking enough water, check your urine. If your urine is consistently colorless or light yellow, you are most likely staying well hydrated. On other hand, if your urine is dark and malodorous you may need to increase your daily water intake.

You may need to increase the amount of water you are drinking if you:

• Have certain medical conditions, such as kidney stones or bladder infection
• Are pregnant or breastfeeding
• Are going to be outside during hot weather
• Are going to be exercising
• Have a fever, or have been vomiting or have diarrhea
• Are attempting to lose weight

Body Water Balance

Body water balance represents the net difference between fluid intake and loss. Normal body water turnover in a sedentary adult is from 1 to 3 L/day, the range accountable primarily to differences in insensible water loss, or the evaporation of moisture from the skin. Large variations in fluid intake are controlled by the kidneys, which can produce more or less urine, depending on changes in body fluid volumes. Water loss in air exhaled from the lungs is often ignored with respect to water balance because it is usually offset by water production occurring during aerobic metabolism. Over the course of a day, humans usually regulate daily body water balance remarkably well as a result of thirst and hunger drives coupled with free access to food and beverage. This is accomplished by physiological responses to changes in body water volume and to changes in concentrations of dissolved substances in body fluids, as well as by non-regulatory social-behavioral factors, such as drinking fluids at meetings and parties.

Although minor perturbations in daily body water balance are easily restored to normalcy, the imposition of exercise and environmental stress onto daily activity can seriously threaten fluid balance homeostasis, performance, and health. Abating these consequences is the underlying and unifying basis for developing guidelines for fluid intake before, during, and after exercise, but hydration assessment remains a key component for ensuring full re-hydration in athletes performing frequent and intense exercise in hot weather.

The selection of an appropriate hydration assessment method is a controversial aspect of fluid balance science. All hydration assessment techniques vary greatly in their applicability due to methodological limitations such as the necessary circumstances for measurement (reliability), ease and cost of application (simplicity), sensitivity for detecting small, but meaningful changes in hydration status (accuracy), and the type of dehydration anticipated.

Most circumstances involving strenuous physical exercise require the formation and vaporization of sweat as a principal means of heat removal. When sweat losses produce a body water deficit, the reduced volume of body fluids contains a greater than normal concentration of dissolved substances such as sodium and potassium; this is known as hyper-tonic hypo-volemia, the norm for dehydrated athletes. Clinical hydration assessment techniques for detecting changes in hydration status rely heavily on this alteration in body fluid chemistry.

Here's to your wellness,


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