How much water should I drink a day?

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How much water should I drink a day?

Let me preface this by warning that these recommendations are for individuals who are healthy with good, heart, kidney, and liver function.  With that out of the way, let us answer this common question.

Current recommendations for women are that they consume at least 2.7 litres of fluids a day and for men it is 3.7 litres of fluids a day. These recommendations are not individualized and assume the male is larger than a female. An accurate and specific way to calculate your required daily intake of fluids is to consume approximately 1 litre of water for every 23 kilograms of body weight.

“Fluids” does not exclusively mean water. Fluids include everything except alcohol. Coffee is included even though it has diuretic effects because it is deemed that these diuretic effects do not outweigh the fluid you have consumed.

A more accurate measure of assessing hydration status is through the colour of your urine (given you have no underlying pathology). Your urine should be very light yellow or clear with a tinge of yellow. This would indicate you are well hydrated. The darker or more yellow your urine is, the more likely it is that you are not well hydrated. There are urine colour charts that you can find online. The reason for claiming this to be more accurate is because it takes individual variation into account (i.e., someone sweats more than someone else at the same body weight).

The reason water is vital in athletes is due to the acute weight changes one day of low fluid consumption can cause. Loss just a weight difference of 2 to 3% (possible if not consuming enough fluids), can alter aerobic performance and strength negatively.

Therefore, it is vital to consume adequate amounts of fluid each day for peak athletic performance and general health. The method you use to calculate your fluid intake should be individualized to yourself.

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