How Much Water Is Enough?

Bottles of water

Drinking enough water every day is good for your overall health—and a great way to reduce calories and added sugars from sodas and other beverages.

Drinking water has zero calories. It can help manage your body weight and reduce caloric intake when substituted for sugary drinks. It can also prevent dehydration, improve your mood, and help several organs to function more efficiently.

It takes just a 2% loss of total water content for your body to start to feel thirsty. If you reach this point, you’re already dehydrated. That’s when symptoms like fatigue, dizziness, dry skin, muscle cramps, headaches and body aches, mood swings, and more can set in.

Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has no recommendation for how much plain water adults and youth should drink each day, there are recommendations for daily total water intake. This can be obtained from a variety of both beverages and foods.

There is no one-size-fits-all, as water intake must be individualized. But, on average, a daily 4- to 6-cup rule is enough for generally healthy people.

You may need more water when you’re in hot climates, more physically active, running a fever, taking certain medications, or experiencing diarrhea or vomiting. Please keep this in mind and check with your doctor if you’re unsure about the right amount for you.

Here are 10 more reasons why your body needs water:

  1. It keeps your temperature normal.
  2. It lubricates and cushions your joints. It’s essential for the kidneys and other bodily functions.
  3. It protects your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues in the body.
  4. It gets rid of waste through urination, perspiration, and bowel movements. Your digestive system depends on water!
  5. Your airways depend on it, too. Without enough water, symptoms of asthma and allergies can become worse.
  6. It delivers oxygen throughout the body. Your blood is made up of more than 90% water, and that blood carries oxygen to different parts of the body.
  7. Water dissolves minerals and nutrients, making them accessible to different parts of the body.
  8. It boosts performance during physical activity.
  9. It may help with weight loss, if consumed in place of sweetened juices and other beverages.
  10. It helps the mind as much as the body. Drinking plenty of water prevents foggy memory, irritability, and other cognitive functioning.

Will you take the LiveWell Frederick challenge?

Make it a point to drink more water. LiveWell Frederick has several resources you can use to track your daily water intake, make better beverage choices, or even cut back on added sugars and sip smarter. Visit our Resources for all the details!

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