How much water should you drink a day? You probably know that it's important to drink plenty of fluids when the temperatures soar outside. But staying hydrated is a daily necessity, no matter what the thermometer says. Unfortunately, many of us aren't getting enough to drink, especially older adults.
Benefits of drinking water
Water keeps every system in the body functioning properly. It is important to note that water has many important jobs, such as:
- carrying nutrients and oxygen to your cells
- flushing bacteria from your bladder
- aiding digestion
- preventing constipation
- normalizing blood pressure
- stabilizing the heartbeat
- cushioning joints
- protecting organs and tissues
- regulating body temperature
- maintaining electrolyte (sodium) balance.
Giving your body enough fluids to carry out those tasks means that you're staying hydrated.
If you don't drink enough water each day, you risk becoming dehydrated. Warning signs of dehydration include weakness, low blood pressure, dizziness, confusion, or urine that's dark in color.
So how much water should you drink? Most people need about four to six cups of water each day.
How much water should you drink a day?
The daily four-to-six cup rule is for generally healthy people. It's possible to take in too much water if you have certain health conditions, such as thyroid disease or kidney, liver, or heart problems.
How much water a day should you drink if you fit into that category? There's no one-size-fits-all answer. Water intake must be individualized, and you should check with your doctor if you are not sure about the right amount for you.
But even a healthy person's water needs will vary, especially if you're losing water through sweat because you're exercising, or because you're outside on a hot day. If you're wondering how much water you should drink on those occasions, speak with your doctor, but a general rule of thumb for healthy people is to drink two to three cups of water per hour, or more if you're sweating heavily.
Stay healthy and safe always.