How much water should you drink every day?
There is no one answer to this question. The answer depends on many factors such as how active you are, where you live and your health in general.
According to The Institute of Medicine the average healthy man living in a temperate climate should drink about 3 litres (13 cups) and women should drink 2.2 litres (9 cups) per day.
Factors that can influence the amount of water that you need in a day include:
- Exercise. If you exercise or any activity that makes you sweat then you need to drink extra water to replenish the fluid that you have lost. It is important to continue drinking water after you have exercised.
- Environment: Where you live also has an impact. So, if you live in a hot and humid climate then more fluids should be drunk. Heated indoor air can also require you to drink more as your skin can lose mositure.
- Illnesses or Health Conditions: Fever, vomiting or diarrhea causes your body to lose fluids which in this case requires you to drink extra water. However, in some conditions such as heart failure and some types of kidney, liver and adrenal diseases may require you to limit your water intake.
- Pregnancy or Breast Feeding: “The Institute of Medicine recommends that pregnant women drink 2.3 liters (about 10 cups) of fluids daily and women who breast-feed consume 3.1 liters (about 13 cups) of fluids a day“.
- Low Carb Diet: It also worth bearing in mind that if you are on a low carb diet, then you may need to drink extra water.
Does tea, milk or other beverages count towards my daily fluid intake?
Other drinks such as milk, tea or coffee can contribute to your fluid intake per day but they should not be a main portion of your daily fluid intake. If you want to stay hydrated then water is always the best option as its cheap and easily available. Water should be your first choice of fluid when thirsty.
To keep yourself hydrated then its best to drink water with and between meals as well as before, during and after exercise.