You’ve probably heard the advice that in order for your body to have proper hydration, you need to drink eight, 8oz glasses of water every day. But is this really accurate for every-body?
A five year old child, for instance, would not be able to drink that much water and still feel okay because too much water in your body can actually flush your system of important electrolytes.
Electrolytes are electrically-charged ions that maintain the electrical impulses throughout your body, allowing it to communicate with itself.
If your body is getting too much water, or the electrolytes in your body are reduced through vomiting, diarrhea, or dehydration, you can develop the following symptoms:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Mental confusion
- Difficulty breathing
- Dry mouth
- Muscle spasms
There are other factors that contribute to electrolyte deficiency, which include certain medications, illnesses, poor diet, or stomach disorders that prevent your body from the proper absorption of key nutrients.
So How Much Do You Need?
There are many factors to consider in determining how much water to consume every day, and they vary from one person to the next.
The rule of “8 by 8” came about because it was easy to remember however, there is no hard evidence to support this rule.
According to the Mayo Clinic, you should keep water within reach at all times, even if you don’t think you’ll need it. As a general rule, you should be drinking enough fluid so that you rarely feel thirsty. Once you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.
When determining the proper amount of water you should be drinking, aside from considerations of environment, activity level, general health, etc., there is a very basic formula to consider.
Here it is: for every pound of bodyweight you have, you need about half an ounce of fluid intake per day [example: 140 lbs x .5 ounces of fluid = 70 ounces. Divide 70 ounces by 8 oz (1 cup) = 9 cups of fluid per day].
Why Does it Have to be Water?
Approximately 55-60% of our body weight is water and can fluctuate dramatically and quickly depending on outside factors.
Bodies depend on water to keep the cells and body systems running smoothly which help regulate body temperature as well as deliver essential nutrients and oxygen to the rest of the body.
It’s important to recognize that fluid intake can include beverages other than water, as well as through the foods we eat.
Although we recognize that proper fluid intake can include other sources, the point we really want to get across is that the best kind of fluid to put into your body to stay hydrated is, was, and always will be… water.
A Healthy Mouth is a Happy Mouth!