We’ve all been there. You’re parched, so you down a glass of water. But then you start to feel guilty. Should you really be drinking that much water? After all, there are people in the world who don’t have access to clean drinking water. Maybe you should stop being so selfish and ration your water intake.
But before you start counting your cups, consider this: There’s an ocean of difference in our water-drinking needs.
For one, our bodies are made up of 60% water. That water needs to be replenished, especially if we’re sweating a lot or losing water through other means.
More importantly, though, is the fact that everyone’s water needs are different. Depending on your activity level, temperature, diet, and a host of other factors, you may need more or less water than the person next to you.
In other words, there’s no need to feel guilty about quenching your thirst. Just listen to your body and drink up.
If you’re like most people, you probably think you should drink eight glasses of water a day. And if you’re like most people, you probably don’t. In fact, you may be surprised to know that there is no scientific evidence to support the “8 by 8” rule. So how much water should you drink?
Our water needs depend on many factors, including our age, activity level, the climate we live in, and our diet. For example, older adults tend to need less water than young people, because they have a lower body water content. People who live in hot climates or who exercise a lot also need to drink more water. And people who eat a lot of water-rich foods (such as fruits and vegetables) don’t need to drink as much water as those who don’t.
The best way to know how much water you need is to pay attention to your thirst. When you’re thirsty, drink. And when you’re not, don’t. It’s that simple.
Of course, there are times when you may need to drink more water than usual. If you’re sick or have diarrhea, for example, you’ll lose fluids and need to replenish them. Pregnant women and breast-feeding mothers also need extra fluids.
So go ahead and put down that water bottle. And next time someone tells you to drink eight glasses of water a day, you can confidently reply, “No, thank you. I’m good.”