How Much Water Should We Drink?



There are many recommendations and formulas to determine how much water someone should drink. So which one is right?

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There actually is no recommended daily allowance (RDA) or estimated average requirement (EAR) for water due to the extreme variability in individual metabolism, activity rates, and environmental conditions, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Instead, the NIH suggests that the median water/beverage intake of adults 18-30 years old is an Adequate Intake (AI):

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Males- 3.0 L/day (101 oz)

Females - 2.2 L/day (74 oz)

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It is also appropriate to follow the age old advice of drinking 8 glasses of water per day if this is easier to remember. This applies for an average adult on a mild day who is not participating in moderate to intense exercise. However, on a hot day or following a workout, the number of glasses should be increased to avoid thirst and maintain hydration.

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Athletes will need more water and a sports drink to maintain electrolytes based on weight loss during their activity.

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The elderly will need less water- about 5-6 ounces per day.

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Why Drinking Water Is So Important

Other beverages besides water can contribute to the daily intake, however, water is the best choice. Other beverages can add calories, sugar, fat, caffeine, and diuretic effects.

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Water maintains body temperature and pH, metabolism, and the transportation of hormones, oxygen, and nutrients. When we become dehydrated, we risk feeling fatigued, getting a fever, and putting our cardiovascular systems in danger. So be sure to stay hydrated this summer!

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Standing Committee on the Scientific Evaluation of Dietary Reference Intakes. (2005). Dietary reference intakes for water, potassium, sodium, chloride, and sulfate. Washington, D.C. The National Academies Press.

#fluidintake #waterrecommendations #waterrda #dehydration #hydration

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