How much water do you need in a day - eight glasses or one litre? Do I drink one litre when I wake up? If I drink more than that, will I get water retention? Is there such a thing as too much water? It’s time we set the facts straight. How much water does your body need? We look at the guidelines for the right amount of water intake for you.
According to research women need two and half litres of water while men need three and half litres of water. BUT, there are some criteria:
- You have to take into account the liquids from beverages and foods.
- If it’s a hot sweaty day, you need more than this amount.
- If you’re pregnant, exercising, sweating or vomiting you need more than the 3 litres of water.
Thirst may be an indicator that your body needs water, but the best signal that is 100 percent foolproof is your urine. If it’s translucent or has a tinge of yellow, your body is hydrated, if it is bright yellow, drink up. If your urine is brown in colour, we suggest you visit the doctor.
So what happens when you sweat it out at the gym or simply spend some time walking in a humid and hot climate? The first thing you do is reach out for that bottle of water, but that’s not a good idea. You see when you sweat you lose water as well as electrolytes; hence if you drink only water you will face water intoxication or hyponatermia. Therefore it is recommended that you can add an electrolyte mix to the water or sip on an energy drink. But remember that if you consume these electrolyte-rich drinks without needing them, they could cause weight gain.
A little more about water intoxication and hyponatermia:
Water Intoxication – When too much water enters your body cell the tissues swell, reducing the sodium intake in your cells.
Hyponatermia - When the sodium levels drop that’s when hyponatermia kicks in.
The story does not end here. Some believe that they can consume a large amount of water at one stretch, say in the morning, and rest easy for the rest of the day. Well the fact is that your intake of water has to be spread throughout the day. When you take in an enormous amount of water at one time you are more likely to experience water intoxication.
Too much of anything is never good, even when it comes the substance that gives life. Listen to your body and sip water throughout the day to ensure that you aren't getting too little or too much of it.
*Images courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
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