Keeping yourself hydrated is important for health, and it’s also important for losing water weight. But how much water should you really drink? The commonly repeated recommendation is 8 glasses of water a day, and it’s easy to remember, but is it right?
Adequate Intake of Water
The Institute of Medicine once recommended that adequate intake for an adult male should drink 3.7 liters of water a day, about 16 cups, or a gallon. But it’s important to remember that we get a lot of our water from our food, perhaps 25%, so this recommendation comes down to about 12 actual cups of water. Women should drink a little less, about 9 cups.
Adjusting Your Requirements
However, it’s important to adjust your water intake based on other important factors. If you are exercising a lot or if the weather is hot, perspiration could lead to a significant loss of water, so you should increase your intake by about two cups.
If you’re losing a lot of fluid due to sickness, increase your consumption accordingly. Your doctor may also recommend more or less water depending on certain health conditions.
Finally, pregnant women need an extra cup of water a day, and breastfeeding women should drink 4 cups more a day.
Monitoring Your Hydration
Of course, better than following a formula is just paying attention to how well hydrated your body seems to be. Drink when you are thirsty, and resist the temptation to add empty calories in your drink. Just plain water is best. If your urine turns dark in color, increase your water consumption until it returns to a healthy clear or pale yellow color.
If you get persistent dry mouth, low quantities of urine, low energy, sunken eyes, or itchy eyes, try increasing your water intake as well.
To learn more about this or other weight loss questions, please contact Med-Fit Medical Weight Loss Clinic in Denver for an appointment.