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Infusions Hydrate Too: How much water

May 19, 2012

Water: How much should you drink every day?

Water is essential to good health, yet needs vary by individual. These guidelines can help ensure you drink enough fluids.

Question: How much water should you drink each day?

Answer: Depends.

There are varying recommendations from the experts the overall conclusion from The Wise Company is that your water needs depend on many factors, the weather, your health and how active you are.

Health benefits of water

Water is the principal chemical component of our bodies (approx. 60 %) of body weight. Every process and biochemical reaction involves water in some way.

Lack of water can lead to dehydration, a condition that occurs when you don’t have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired. This is also critical if you are doing sport. Dehydration will manifest itself in a drop-off in performance.

How much water do you need?

We are losing water all the time via breathing, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. We must replenish the water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water in order to maintain the body’s systems.

The Institute of Medicine determined that an Adequate Intake for men is:

 Around 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages per day.

 The Adequate Intake for women is:

Around 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day

Drink more for the following reasons:

  • Exercise: Drink extra water to compensate for the fluid loss. An extra 400 to 600 milliliters (about 1.5 to 2.5 cups) of water should suffice for short spurts of exercise. For endurance events lasting more than an hour (for example, running a marathon) requires more fluid intake. During intense exercise, it’s best to use a sports drink that contains sodium, which will replace sodium lost in sweat and reduce the chances of developing hyponatremia (dilution of sodium in the blood). A rule of thumb is to drink about 0.25 litres every 20 minutes of exercise.
  • Environment: Hot and/or humid weather can make you sweat more and you need more fluid. Altitudes greater than 8,200 feet (2,500 meters) may trigger increased urination and more rapid breathing, which use up more of your fluid reserves.
  • Illnesses or health conditions: When you have fever, vomiting or diarrhea, your body loses additional fluids. Drink more water and in extreme cases you may need to take rehydration solutions with salts.
  • Pregnancy or breast-feeding: Women who are expecting or breast-feeding need additional fluids to stay hydrated. Large amounts of fluid are used especially when nursing. The Institute of Medicine recommends that pregnant women drink 2.3 liters of fluids daily and women who breast-feed consume 3.1 liters of fluids a day.

Other sources of water

Try infusions, fruits and vegetables. For example, watermelon and tomatoes contain upto 90 percent or more water by weight. The advantage of infusions (hot or cold) made by The Wise Company is that they contain salts naturally in the Herbs & Spices and there is added functionality to help you with your exercise and for maintaining a healthy weight.

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