How much water are we supposed to be drinking and what is the best way to consume this amazing liquid? 8 cups, 12 cups, every 20 min, every hour, cold, hot, infused, purified, spring, sip, gulp, the list goes on. We all have our opinions and to be honest hydration is different for everyone.
Lets start with water itself. Our bodies are composed of ~70-80% with the highest percentages being in the heart, lungs, blood, brain and muscle. Every biochemical reaction in our bodies needs water. It bathes every cell in our bodies and allows life to occur. It is made up of one positively charged oxygen and two negatively charged hydrogen atoms and because of these charges and the charges between other water molecules it creates an inter molecular force allowing it to "stick" together, able to flow and move as one and send information long distances. It dissolves nutrients, gases, and wastes and repels fats providing compartments in our body necessary for different purposes. It, along with fascia create a network allowing for communication between all cells of the body.
Signs & symptoms of dehydration:
How much do I need?
Everyone is going to be different so pay close attention to the signs and symptoms above,, but on average women should aim for 11 .5 cups and men 15.5 cups a quick rule of thumb is to drink half your weight in ounces so if you weigh 120 lbs drink 60 ounces (7.5 cups).
The maximum amount the kidneys can process / hour is 1 L. so don't drink all your daily water requirements in one go! I typically recommend patients to drink a large glass of water first thing in the morning to help the kidneys flush any toxins and wastes your body dealt with over night. Then during the day drink about 1/2 - 1 cup / hour (4 large gulps). If you are exercising intensely you should be having 2-3 cups of water / hour, drinking every 20 min.
How much is too much?
--> more than 1 liter / hour is too much! This just causes extra work for your body. Another thing to watch for is hyponatremia (low salt level in the blood). If you are sweating extensively you really need to be using an electrolyte solution! See my post on Rumancik Remedies for an easy to make electrolyte recipe!
Hydration tips :