How much water to drink?

We often hear that we have to drink at least eight glasses a day, i.e. a daily norm of about two liters of water. How much water does a person really need and how flexible this figure is.

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According to the newsletter of the World Health Organization, it is not possible to determine a standard amount of water that a person should drink during the day.

Who needs to drink more water?

The basic factor that determines the water requirement is the excretion of water with urine, feces, breath, sweat, but one should not overlook the fact that this is not the only significant factor. The daily water allowance is the amount a person must drink or consume with food and drink in order to restore the body’s excreted moisture.

According to studies, the minimum amount of water consumed per day is 2 liters, and the maximum is 16.

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Let’s see what less noticeable factors may cause an increase in the need for water:

  • weight, so most regulations estimate the water requirement in liters per kilogram of weight;
  • Hot climates and physical activity are factors that can greatly increase the need for water, because the more a person sweats, the more water is released;
  • Different illnesses can cause vomiting and diarrhea, leading to a drastic loss of water. A sick person may consume several of our usual daily norms of water;
  • nutrition depends on the culture of the region and the individual societies, for example, if you eat a portion of soup every day, you get about a glass of water with it;
  • Pregnant and nursing women also need more water. Pregnant women require more water, because it is necessary for the fetus and the formation of amniotic fluid. As for lactating women, a woman’s body can generate more than a liter of milk per day for a one-month-old baby, which contains at least 80% water. By the way, this is the reason why it is not recommended to give water to children before they are six months old.

What to Drink?

Despite the popular opinion among people that you can’t drink anything but water for full rehydration, studies refute this assumption, but you should always consider the fact that the amount of pure water in drinks differs. Here’s a little infographic on the water content of beverages.

Regular drinking water and diet soft drinks are 100 percent water, while coffee and tea are 99.5 percent and sports drinks 95 percent. Fruit juices range from 90 to 94% water. Skim, 2% and whole milk contain 91%, 89% and 87% water, respectively.

Dietitians recommend to drink plain water as most drinks contain sugar, caffeine and other food additives, which can add “extra” sugar to the human diet or have other side effects. For example, coffee, or rather the caffeine in it, is a natural diuretic, which means that it can accelerate the excretion of fluid from the body and lead to mild dehydration.

How much water to drink?

According to the same WHO document referenced above, there are minimum water requirements for different age groups. We have already written in detail about how much water children need. Today we are going to talk in detail about how much water we should drink per day.

According to a document published by the WHO (Domestic Water Quantity,

increase need water

How Much Water Should You Drink? How to Tell. (3 Signs)

We see how much water different groups of people drink. Be sure to note that the table shows all water in its pure form, in beverages, and in foods.

As you see it is recommended to consume more water for men and less for women. This is primarily due to weight and metabolic patterns.

How much water we should drink when we work out and in hot climates?

Different sources indicate different figures for water consumption by people who work in harsh physical conditions or in hot climates. As we mentioned above, it ranges from 4 to 16 liters per day. In fact, this figure can actually vary greatly, since differences in ambient temperature and intensity of exercise are factors that stimulate the drainage of moisture.

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Is it harmful to drink too much water??

In medicine, there is a concept called water poisoning, or hyperhydration. Symptoms are swelling of the face and limbs, fluid accumulation in the abdomen (ascites), pulmonary and cerebral edema may occur in severe cases.

But the cause of this problem is often related disorders, such as diseases of the urinary system, or excessive intravenous administration of a variety of solutions. With increased water consumption, this disease can also occur, so it is important to control your drinking, especially in extreme conditions and when you are thirsty for a long time.


This is the reverse of hyperhydration. In this case, dehydration occurs when less water enters the body than is excreted.

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Worsening of the person’s state of health occurs at the loss of already 1% of water, at dehydration of more than 15% there is a high risk of lethality.

This condition is common in hot weather, intestinal infections and poisonings characterized by vomiting and diarrhea (e.g., rotavirus), and illnesses accompanied by a rise in body temperature. These include both seasonal acute respiratory infections and more complex illnesses.

  1. General weakness and dizziness;
  2. pale face and extremities;
  3. No urge to urinate;
  4. intense thirst;
  5. crying without crying;
  6. rapid breathing;
  7. low blood pressure.

These signs of dehydration apply to both adults and children. It is important to realize that very mild cases may be treated at home by drinking plenty of special saline solutions. As for complex situations, they necessarily require hospitalization, and in the hospital rehydration therapy is carried out mainly by intravenous injection of solutions.

Drink clean water and use it to make drinks and food. And most importantly, do not forget to replenish the water in time, especially in hot weather and during illness.

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