Your doctor may have told you to aim for drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. But contrary to popular belief, how much water you should be drinking is actually more individualized than you might think.
With the National Academy of Medicine suggesting that men should be drinking at least 104 ounces of water a day, those 8 cups should really be 13 cups. They say women should drink at least 72 ounces, which is 9 cups. Nevertheless, the question of how much water we should exactly drink isn’t an easy one to answer.
How Much Water Should I Drink a Day?
Even though drinking 8 cups of water is a good place to start, it’s based on mere hearsay and isn’t based on well-researched information. Our body is primarily composed of almost 60 percent water. Every bodily system in our body needs water in order to properly function.
With that being said, your recommended intake is all based on multiple factors such as sex, age, how much you exercise and if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
What Children Should Drink
Recommendations for children have a lot to do with their age as opposed to sex. Both girls and boys between the ages of 4 and 8 should drink about 5 cups of water a day. By the ages of 9 and 13, they should be drinking 7 to 8 glasses a day. For the ages of 14 to 18, the recommended water is 8 to 11 cups.
What Adults Should Drink
The National Academy of Medicine recommends that men ages 19 and older should consume about 3.7 or 15 glasses of water while suggesting women drink 2.7 or 11 cups of water per day. These estimations include your overall fluid intake, including anything you eat or drink containing water on it, like fruits or veggies.
Women Who Are Pregnant or Breastfeeding
If you are currently pregnant or breastfeeding, your recommendations will change. Pregnant women regardless of age should aim to drink about 80 ounces or 10 cups of water per day. Women who are breastfeeding are suggested to drink 104 ounces or 13 cups a day.
Why Do We Need to Drink Water?
Water is essential for most bodily functions. When you drink adequate amounts of water, you replenish what your organs have already used throughout the day. Without it, your body and its organs won’t function properly.
Drinking water has many benefits including the following:
- lubricating your joints
- supporting your spine and other tissue
- helping expel waste through urine, sweat and bowel movement
- keeping your body temperature at a normal level
As an added bonus, drinking water can help you look good too! Water keeps your skin looking healthy. Since your skin is an organ, your body’s largest organ at that, drinking enough water can keep your skin healthy and hydrated.
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