How Much Water Should I Drink Per Day?
It’s an age old question: how much water per day do our bodies really need?
And, when we drink for hydration, is our water per day the only beverage that counts toward that daily need?
Well, if you’re trying to ensure that you get enough water per day, here are some tips that can help you.
The Amount of Water Needed Per Day
For years, we’ve hear the rule that we need to drink eight eight ounce glasses of water per day. And, while that’s a good start, there is really a better, more customized way to determine how much water per day your body needs.
Most of us require about half our body weight in ounces of water per day. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should be drinking 75 ounces of water a day.
You should also drink another eight ounces of water per day for every 20 minutes of exercise. While other beverages you drink can count toward your water requirements, not every beverage counts.
Beverages that contain caffeine or alcohol are actually dehydrating to your body, so they should not be counted toward your daily water requirements.
The Important Role of Water Within The Body
Our bodies are about 60-70% water. Water is required to regulate your body temperature.
Water also transports nutrients to your body, oxygen to your cells and provides a cushion for your joints and organs. It is also responsible for eliminating waste and toxins from your body.
We lose water through urination, which is how we eliminate waste and toxins. We also lose water through sweat, which is why active people need more water than sedentary ones.
Dehydration results when we don’t get a sufficient amount of water per day. Minor dehydration can cause fatigue, sore muscles, headache and constipation. Thirst is a symptom of dehydration. To stay properly hydrated, we all need to drink before we’re thirsty.
High Protein Diets Require More Water Consumption
If you’re on a high protein diet, your water per day requirements will be even higher. This is because protein in your diet raises your levels of uric acid and urea in the blood.
These are by products of protein metabolism, and they are harmful to the body. Your body’s response is to send lots of water to the kidneys and urinary tract to pump out this excess urea and uric acid, so your body is using way more water when you’re on a high protein diet.
It is extremely important to get at least half your body weight in ounces of water per day when you’re on a high protein diet, if your protein is coming from meat and dairy sources.
Plant based proteins like soy and legumes do no create this increase in urea and uric acid, so they don’t require your body to use more water.