A Guide to Drinking Water – Benefits and Drawbacks
Water is the most important thing in the world. Over the years, our wants have gained so much importance that they have become our needs, now. Water, though, is a need that has remained not only a need but its importance has doubled. Some analysts even say that the next wars will be fought due to the scarcity of water. However, we will today talk about what water means to the human body. We drink water every single day, but what is the optimum amount? What are the benefits of drinking water? Don’t worry, we will discuss everything, today!
Why is water so important?
Let us start with the most basic question. We grow up being told by our elders to drink more and more water, our doctors advise us to drink more water. So, today’s question is, why is water so important?
As we will be discussing the benefits of water, we can just answer this question by saying that water is a nutrient for our body. Our bodies are made up of almost 60-70% of water. We lose some of it to sweat, pee, breathing, skin evaporation, etc. It is important to replace that lost water, in the simplest of words.
Benefits of Drinking Water:
Helps in maintaining the balance of body fluids:
The most obvious benefit is the balancing of body fluids, as discussed earlier. When you lose water over the exertions of the day, drinking water helps you restore the bodily fluids which help in digestion, absorption, circulation, saliva, nutrients, etc.
Regulation of body temperature:
It is crucial to maintain the perfect body temperature for your body to function. Your body loses a lot of water over the entirety of the day, due to sweat and humid or hot conditions. Your sweat keeps the body cool but to ensure your body does not heat up, it is important to drink more water to replenish the water you have lost.
Makes your skin looks better:
It will not erase wrinkles or come with the promise of making you look ten years younger. Water acts as a protective barrier that will help you in preventing excess fluid loss. It can help with wrinkles as dehydration is one of the reasons behind wrinkles. It also helps keep the moisture locked in.
Helps control calories:
While water is not a weight-loss potion, it can be used as a substitute for higher calorie beverages. You can drink water instead of choosing to drink alcohol or soft drinks along with your food, it will help in losing weight, for sure. You can also choose foods with higher water content, as they tend to be bigger, making you feel like you ate more.
Disadvantages of Drinking Water:
This is a “reach”. There are no disadvantages to drinking water. There are disadvantages to drinking “a lot” of water, though. Excess of everything is bad, even water, and that is not a surprise. Excess water can be even fatal, in some cases, it is a condition called hyponatremia, also known as, water intoxication.
This happens when you drink too much water, and your sodium levels decrease leading to nausea, vomiting, cramps, fatigue, etc. Another disadvantage of drinking too much water is a headache. Headache is caused by dehydration and over-hydration, both.
So, basically, there are no disadvantages to drinking water, you can drink water, just make sure you do not drink too much water. That begs the question, what is considered to be too much water intake? Don’t worry, we will explain that, as well!
How Much Water to Drink a Day?
This is a tough question to answer. There is no set rule you could follow. While, The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine did try to answer the question, even they had an asterisk in their calculations.
According to The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the optimum amount of water intake for men is about 15.5 cups of fluids and 11.5 cups for women, living in temperate conditions. There are a lot of questions over this calculation. Like, what is a temperate condition? What is the ideal age to be considered a man and a woman? How much water should you drink a day in litres?
We have made these calculations a lot easier for you. The water intake is dependent on the amount of water you lose. That is why it is hard to say what a set goal should be. You may have noticed that we drink a lot of water in summers, but we can actually go a whole day drinking maybe just a glass of water in winters, right? So, the eight glasses goal is more than good enough. However, if you exercise daily, or you spend more time outside due to a job that revolves around going out more, or if you are sick, pregnant, or if you live in hot and humid weather (>88•F), then you should drink more than just the eight glasses. The cut-off limit is way higher than this so you don’t have to worry about drinking too much water if you are drinking around the amount we have mentioned.
As for the people who get confused regarding measurements, like me, we have a guide for you as well. This is a small “how much water to drink a day calculator” which can help you stay in touch with your everyday goal of water intake.
How Much Water to Drink a Day Calculator:
It is majorly dependent on your weight and how much exercise you do in a day. By exercise they mean all the physical activity done in a day.
100 Pounds = 67 Ounces (1.98 litres)
110 Pounds = 74 Ounces (2.18 litres)
120 Pounds = 80 Ounces (2.36 litres)
130 Pounds = 87 Ounces (2.57 litres)
140 Pounds = 94 Ounces (2.77 litres)
150 Pounds = 100 Ounces (2.95 litres)
Remember to adjust your physical activity accordingly. That means adding about 12 ounces (0.35 litres) for 30 minutes of physical activity, on average.