#SportsMedicineMonday: Drink Up! Water, Hydration and Your Health

How much water should I be drinking?

Every day you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. For your body to function properly, you must replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.

So how much fluid does the average, healthy adult living in a temperate climate need? The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is:

These recommendations cover fluids from water, other beverages and food. About 20% of daily fluid intake usually comes from food and the rest from drinks.

You’ve probably heard the advice, “Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.” That’s easy to remember, and it’s a reasonable goal.

Most healthy people can stay hydrated by drinking water and other fluids whenever they feel thirsty. For some people, fewer than eight glasses a day might be enough. But other people might need more.

Factors that influence water needs and hydration

You might need to modify your total fluid intake based on several factors:

Staying safely hydrated

Your fluid intake is probably adequate if:

To prevent dehydration and make sure your body has the fluids it needs, make water your beverage of choice. It’s also a good idea to:

Although uncommon, it’s possible to drink too much water. When your kidneys can’t excrete the excess water, the sodium content of your blood is diluted (hyponatremia) — which can be life-threatening.

Athletes — For more information about avoiding heat exhaustion and heat stroke check out our blog post here.

The information for today’s blog post was provided by Liz Erker, RD, LD, MS. Check out her bio on the Signature Medical Group website. We are proud to offer her nutrition services as part of our practice at Signature Orthopedics.

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