How to Stay Hydrated: The Amount of Water Needed for Healthy Living


While there are many things in life we say we simply couldn’t live without (pizza, ice cream, Netflix, iPhones),

the truth is, human beings could get by with just a few necessities. Water is one of the few resources that

human beings truly need to survive. More than two-thirds of a human being’s body weight is represented by

water and without it, the body would only function for a few days before completely shutting down. Learning

how to stay hydrated in various situations is crucial for healthy living.


Despite these facts, most Americans simply aren’t drinking enough water. In fact, it’s been reported that

75 percent of Americans fall short of the recommended amount of daily water intake, meaning the vast

majority is functioning in the medically-coined state of “chronic dehydration.” Individuals facing chronic

dehydration may experience symptoms of fatigue, joint pain, weight gain, headaches, and more.

Many cases of chronic dehydration could simply be a case of not knowing how much water is actually

needed by the body. To better understand how to stay hydrated, we’ve pulled together some insight

into proper amounts of water intake from reputable sources, based on common life circumstances.


How to Stay Hydrated During Limited Activity


According to FEMA emergency recommendations, the average person should drink at least two quarts

of water per day (about 1.9 liters). Even though the person in this example is living a sedentary lifestyle,

the body still uses up water to distribute essential nutrients to cells, remove waste (urine, feces), break

down foods, regulate body temperature and lubricate joints.


Staying Hydrated During Moderate Exercise


The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends at least 30 minutes of “moderate-

intensity” exercise a day (5 days a week) for healthy adults. This type of exercise is categorized by

“working hard enough to break a sweat, but still able to carry on a conversation.” Walking, running, stair

climbing, cycling, rowing, cross country skiing and swimming are all examples of moderate-intensity

aerobic exercises.


When your body heats up from exercise, it releases the heat through sweat (water loss) in an effort to

cool down. Therefore, proper steps need to be taken to ensure water is available when the body needs

it most.


The ACSM recommends that adults drink 16-20 ounces of water at least four hours before moderate

exercise and 8-12 ounces 10-15 minutes prior to the exercise. When exercise begins, the athlete should

consume 3-8 ounces of water in 15-20 minute intervals (do not consumer more than one quart per

hour). Following the workout, it’s recommended that 20-24 ounces of water is consumed for every

pound lost.


How to Stay Hydrated During High Intensity Exercise and Warm Weather


The American Heart Association (AHA) says the amount of water that should be consumed during

intense workouts can vary depending on climatic conditions, clothing worn and the time of exercise.

However, they offer a rule of thumb similar to the ACSM (mentioned above). The AHA suggests those

preparing for an intense workout should weigh themselves before and after their workout. For every

pound lost during the workout, a pint of water should be consumed to replenish it. It’s not uncommon

for athletes to lose up to five pounds when exercising heavily in warm weather.


Keep in mind, simply sitting outside in hot weather causes the body to use more fluids. Monitor fluid

and weight loss to the best of your ability in the heat to stay hydrated.


Staying Hydrated to Fight Illness


Drinking water to avoid a cold or flu has been proven to be an effective tactic, according to a survey

carried out by Dr. David Lewis. Proper hydration ensures the lining of the nose stays moist, which then

acts as “flypaper,” catching things like dust and other bacteria before they enter the body. Without

proper hydration, the lining will dry out and harmful materials could more easily enter.

According to the results, individuals that drank just three glasses of water (as opposed to eight) were

five times more likely to get a blocked nose or sore throat. The effects deepened at two-and-a-half

glasses of water, where survey participants were nearly four times more likely to get flu.


Final Thoughts


As Leonardi da Vinci once said, “Water is the driving force of all nature.” Learning how to stay hydrated will

lead to a healthier lifestyle and you will feel better as a result. Hopefully this post provided some

valuable insight on water’s importance to daily life and the proper amount that should be consumed

during common day-to-day activities.

July 8th, 2015
by Tanya Bellini

@drinksummit ON TWITTER

Surround yourself with ample opportunity to drink water throughout the day. You won't regret it #water

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