Getting plenty of water, especially during the summer heat or when you’re working out is a must to avoid dehydration – and even unwanted weight gain. Many Americans drink too little water, and doing so can affect your energy level and your mood, according to a study published in 2012 in The Journal of Nutrition. Knowing how much water you need helps you meet daily hydration goals.
Take a look at how much you should be drinking to forgo these potentially hazardous side effects.
Water Recommendations for Women
Adult women need 2.7 liters of water daily, which equates to 11.4 cups of water each day, according to the Institute of Medicine (IOM). The IOM also notes that pregnant women need about 13 cups of water and nursing women require 16 cups water each day to properly nourish their babies. Women who lose large amounts of water by sweating may need additional water.
Water Needs of Men
Men generally require more water than women each day, but need about the same amount of water as breastfeeding women — which is 3.7 liters or almost 16 cups per day, notes the Institute of Medicine. As with active women, active men who sweat a lot may need additional water to help prevent dehydration.
What About Children?
The amount of water kids need daily depends on their age, gender, activity level. Based on recommendations provided by the IOM, kids ages 1 to 3 need 5.5 cups of water each day, children ages 4 to 8 need 7 cups, kids ages 9 to 13 and teen girls need about 9 to 10 cups, and teenage boys need about 14 cups of water each day — and even more if they are very active. If a child’s urine is light yellow or clear, he or she is likely getting plenty of water.
Does Water in Foods Count?
To get in your daily water requirements, you can drink plain water or get water from foods and drinks — like fruits, juices, vegetables, and milk. So, even if you’re not drinking as many cups of plain water as your body needs daily, you might still be getting plenty of total water if you’re consuming lots of of water-rich foods.
However, it should be mentioned that you should not substitute sugar-y beverages for water as this will only dehydrate you further and make you crave more sugar – reversing any potential benefits of proper hydration.
On a final note, know that if you are drinking alcohol your body will get more dehydrated than usual and you should double up on the H20. Happy sippin’!
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