A Surprisingly Large Number of People Don't Drink The Right Amount of Water

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A typical human being can go a while without food but not for days without water. Water occupies about 1/3 of body weight. It aids in digestion, perspiration and combines with salt and proteins to form a plasma, the liquid component of blood. The body must get a fresh water supply regularly since it can't store water. The old adage is that eight glasses of water is ideal for an adult. However, different individuals have different water uptake requirements and depend on the following factors:

  • Age
  • Health condition
  • Gender
  • Psychological condition
  • Physical activities
  • Weather

Dehydration limits aerobic performance and translates to increased heart rate, exertion, and body temperature during physical activities. What's more? Losing at least 2% of weight to dehydration is enough to reduce performance. So, people who are into intensive physical activities require more water.

Required Water Intake for Men

Men require more energy and have less body fat. Besides, the composition of water in men is 5% more than that of women. Overweight men have a larger composition of water than leaner men. 

Young boys aged 9-13 years should at least consume 1.6 liters a day. In contrast, those between 14-18 years should take 1.9 liters of water daily. Men with more than 19 years on earth require more water, and about 2.6 liters is ideal.

This intake includes all fluid types, but it's advisable to take more plain water. However, remember that infants should only consume fluid from breast milk. Men who are in a workout routine will require an increase in their water consumption. Older men are at risk of dehydration, which can bring muscle complications, dizziness, or mobility problems. Older men need to take the usual 2.6 liters to maintain that good health in their old age.

Required Water Intake for Women

Women have less water composition and more body fat. The water composition in women is about 55%, which is 5% lower than that of men. However, women have different hydration needs depending on their health or stage in life. For example, staying hydrated during periods comes in handy to reduce discomfort or, better still, cramps. During periods, hormones fall away, and some women may have bloated bellies.

As the hormones increase, the body retains more water. This may affect the digestive system and bring about bloating and constipation problems. It's ideal to consume about 9-10 glasses daily during your periods. Water flushes the system and reduces bloatedness. Girls between the ages of 1-3 years should take about 1 liter of water, while those aged between 9-13 years require about 6 cups of water which is 1.4 liters. On the other hand, teenage girls aged 14-18 years need about 1.6 liters. Lactating women will need to take in more water than those who are not. 

Signs of Dehydration

There’s quite a few signs that you may be becoming dehydrated. Some of these include: 

  • Bad Breath - Water is important for the production of saliva and cleaning bacteria, thus maintaining healthy gums and teeth. Inadequate water prevents the production of saliva and contributes to bacteria accumulation which causes bad breath. Most people who have bad breath practice oral hygiene, but the problem persists because they don't take enough water.
  • Constipation - Water is important for digestion and bowel movement. It keeps the stool soft, allowing it to move easily out of the digestive system. Failing to take the recommended amount of water causes the body to absorb water from the stool, thus making it hard to pass stool.
  • Poor Skin Health - Water is essential for maintaining vibrant and youthful skin. Without enough water, the skin loses elasticity and plumpness, thus causing wrinkles and flakiness. Besides, water reduces acne and flushes away harmful toxins causing other skin problems.
  • Decreased urination - Dehydration causes the kidneys to maintain as much water as possible to conduct their primary function. Individuals who have inadequate water concentration are most likely going to experience decreased urination.

Water is life, and failure to take the required amount will lead to poor health. Some diseases can be avoided by taking a few liters of water per day. There is no exact answer to the amount of water an individual should take. It depends on the activity, gender, and condition.