How much water do you really need?


By pH health care professionals

Water makes up 60% of your body weight. This number is higher for babies and less for the elderly. It is vital to life, as it helps flush out toxins from most organs and carries nutrients to all the cells of the body.  Every system in your body needs water. When you don’t have enough water, you might end up suffering from dehydration, which causes you to feel weak and drained of energy. 

How much water should you drink?

The Institute of Medicine determined that the adequate intake for a man is about 3,000 ml (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day.  For women, it is about 2,200 ml (about 9 cups). Your mother’s advice to drink “eight glasses of water daily” is close to that recommendation. However, this includes all fluids and not just water.

What conditions increase your water needs?

A healthy person loses water through perspiration, breath, urine and bowels.  When you exercise, your water needs increase. You need to drink not only water, but fluids with electrolytes, including sodium and potassium, as you lose them when you sweat.

People with kidney stones or polycystic kidney disease also need to drink more water to increase urine output. Anyone with diarrhea will be dehydrated and should increase his or her fluid intake. Fever and hot or humid conditions would also increase your daily hydration requirements.

What conditions decrease your water needs?

People with congestive heart failure are usually on fluid restriction, as they can experience fluid overload and difficulty breathing. People with kidney disease who are not producing urine should not drink too much water either.

How do you know if you are drinking enough water?

You drink when you are thirsty; therefore, when you are not thirsty anymore, you probably have had enough to drink. Some older people, and those who cannot express their thirst, cannot use this as a gauge. 

Check to make sure that there is adequate urine output. This amount is about 1,500 to 2,000 ml per day.  This is equivalent to urinating about five times a day. Note that urine should be light yellow or colorless.

If you drink a lot of water too fast, and the kidneys cannot make urine fast enough and the blood gets diluted, causing a condition called hyponatremia, or low sodium, this can be lethal. Some academic literature found no benefit in drinking more than is needed to quench thirst. So don’t overdo it.

Simple rules to live by:

  • Drink when thirsty.
  • Drink when your urine is dark yellow.
  • Drink 9-13 cups (8 ounces each) a day.
  • Last but not least, drink purified or alkaline water to optimize health.

If you live in Southern California, stop by pH Labs in Santa Monica to ask about our alkaline water memberships. Or give the gift of hydration with the pH Water Lover Gift Box.

Enjoy Your Healthy Life!

The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. This team also includes the members of the pH Medical Advisory Board, which constantly monitors all pH programs, products and services. To learn more about the pH Medical Advisory Board, click here.


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