Seems like a simple question, but the answer isn’t as simple. Most people have heard the “eight 8 ounce glasses of water” advice, but according to the Institute of Medicine, there isn’t any scientific evidence behind that “rule”. It’s just easy to remember and isn’t far off their own recommendations. Getting adequate water intake is one of the most important things you can do to achieve your skin care goals, but it’s also necessary for your whole body’s well being. So how much should you bet getting every day? Here are some guidelines to make sure you’re achieving proper hydration levels!
1. The Institute of Medicine recommends 3 liters (about 13 cups) for the average healthy male, and 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) for the average healthy female.
2. If you exercise and sweat, you need an additional 1.5-2.5 cups of water for each hour of exercise. However, if you are engaging in a more intense long lasting activity, such as running a marathon, you need to replenish not just water but also sodium, so a sports drink may be a better option. Make sure to continue to replace fluids after you’ve finished exercising.
3. If you live in a hot or humid environment, you will also lose body fluid due to sweating. An additional cup of water can help counteract the loss of fluid. If you live at a high altitude you’ll also need additional water to help out with the increased loss of fluids and more rapid breathing often associated with the thinner air.
4. Pregnant and breast-feeding women also need additional fluids. The recommended daily intake for a pregnant woman is 2.3 liters (10 cups) and 3.1 liters (13 cups) for breast-feeding women.
4. Drinking alcohol, sodas, and caffeine also dehydrates the body, and will increase the need for water intake.
As a fairly active healthy adult woman who enjoys a glass of wine from time to time I try to drink about 12 cups of water a day. If you don’t enjoy the taste of water, I recommend drinking small amounts throughout the day. Take a sip when you walk past a water fountain. If you have a water cooler in your office, have a small cup every time you walk by. If you just need a little flavor, there are some really cool infusion water bottles you can add sliced fruit to.
Have a glass as soon as you wake up in the morning and during and between meals and you’ll be well on your way to getting your daily water intake!