How Many Bottles Of Water A Day Should You Drink?
National Hydration Day reminds us of the importance of staying hydrated. But how many bottles of water a day should you drink?
THE WATER IN YOU
Water is the most important thing you consume in your life. With the average adult body being 60% water, water affects every single facet of your health and wellness (1).
As you age, the percentage of water in your body changes. According to Dr. Rand McClain, you tend to “dry out” as you age. He cautioned, you “have air-conditioned environments, water fountains, and fluids so easily accessed in most places. However, many people do indeed live in a mildly dehydrated state because of the diuretic beverages they consume, such as coffee, tea, and caffeinated soft drinks and alcohol” (2).
National Hydration Day (June 23) is a reminder of the importance of water and staying hydrated. But why is good hydration important?
BENEFITS OF GOOD HYDRATION
Good hydration is essential to maintaining a healthy body. Being hydrated:
- Facilitates cell function
- Ensures adequate perspiration
- Helps with thermoregulation
- Improves cognitive function
- Speeds up your metabolism
- Boosts your immune function
- Improves cardiovascular health
- Cleanses the body of toxins
- Helps muscles and joints to function as they should
Nobel Prize winner, Peter Agre, discovered that aquaporins are responsible for helping transport water between your cells (3). But what happens when your body becomes dehydrated?
9 THINGS THAT HAPPEN WHEN YOU STOP DRINKING WATER
When your body becomes dehydrated, a number of health concerns can be the result. Here are nine things that happen when you stop drinking water:
- Urine darkens: The first tell-tale sign that your body is dehydrating is a darkening of your urine. When this happens, it means that your body is working to conserve fluids in your brain and other vital organs by not releasing too much through the kidneys.
- Your brain shrinks: Because most of your brain is made up of water, not having enough water will make it shrink, making your brain work harder to do simple tasks.
- Severe headaches: Due to your brain not getting the water it needs, you will experience intense headaches.
- Mood changes: because of the impact dehydration has on your brain, you will find yourself struggling to focus, your energy levels will deplete, you will experience memory loss, and many people will become highly irritable.
- Joint pain: Good hydration is essential for joint and spinal cord lubrication. When dehydrated, your joints and bones will grind against each other, causing pain.
- Thermal regulation: When you dehydrate, your body loses its ability to regulate its internal temperature. As your core temperature rises, your blood pressure drops.
- Digestive system slows down: When you are dehydrated, your digestive system slows down, making it difficult to eat and break down food.
- Hypovolemic shock: Hypovolemic shock happens when your body fails to have enough blood for the heart to pump. This leads to multiple organ failure.
- Total body shutdown: After three days with no water, your body will experience muscle spasms, your mouth will dry up, your tongue may swell (making it hard to drink), and your body will begin to shut down.
While many of these negative health consequences only happen when you experience severe dehydration, according to Dr. Rand McClain, “many people do indeed live in a mildly dehydrated state” (2). So how many bottles of water a day would you need to drink to ensure that you are receiving optimal hydration?
WHAT IS OPTIMAL HYDRATION?
Classical notions of nutrition and hydration are thought of in terms of shortage (malnutrition, dehydration) or excess (obesity, hyperhydration). For children, the nutrition and hydration requirements are based on making sure the child is growing as they should be. For adults, the basic nutrition and hydration requirements are based on the maintenance of a target weight and body composition.
As a general rule, the amount of water you need depends on:
- Your height and weight
- How much you exercise
- The type of exercise you do
- Your gender
- Your diet (alcohol consumption, amount of carbonated drinks, types of foods you eat, etc.)
- The climate you live in (dry, temperate, tropical, polar, etc.)
- Your body’s status (diabetic, pregnant, certain health conditions, etc.)
HOW MANY BOTTLES OF WATER A DAY SHOULD I DRINK?
For the average adult, it is generally recommended that you drink 8 cups of water each day or half a gallon. This is sometimes referred to as the eight by eight rule.
While this general rule is a good starting point, it is important to find the best amount that is specific for your needs.
On the other hand, the U.S National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine posited that men should be drinking around 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluid a day while women should be drinking 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) a day (4). But how many bottles of water a day should you drink depending on your demographic?
ADEQUATE DAILY WATER INTAKE BY DEMOGRAPHIC
Drinking enough water is an important part of your health. While your personal optimal hydration level is hard to determine, as a general guideline it is recommended that you consume this daily amount (5):
|Demographic||Daily Recommended Amount|
|Children 4-8 years old||5 cups, or 40 total ounces|
|Children 9-13 years old||7-8 cups, or 56-64 total ounces|
|Children 14-18 years old||8-11 cups, or 64-88 total ounces|
|Men, 19 years and older||13 cups, or 104 total ounces|
|Women, 19 years and older||9 cups, or 72 total ounces|
|Pregnant women||10 cups, or 80 total ounces|
|Breastfeeding women||13 cups, or 104 total ounces|
*This information was taken from a healthline article entitled, “How Much Water You Need to Drink” (2019) (5).
IS IT POSSIBLE TO DRINK TOO MUCH WATER?
While a lot of focus is often put on making sure you drink enough water, it is also important to be aware of the dangers of drinking too much water. According to nephrologist Dr. John Maesaka, “A normal person with normal kidneys can drink [roughly] as much as 17 liters of water (34 16-oz. bottles) if taken in slowly without changing their serum sodium,” (6). However, an approximate guideline is that in one hour, the kidneys can only handle one liter of water (7).
When you drink too much too fast, your body can experience overhydration, also referred to as water intoxication and hyperhydration. The symptoms of overhydration include:
- Colourless urine
- Frequent urination, even during the night
- Nausea or vomiting
- Muscle spasms, cramping, and weakness
- Head pain
- Swollen feet, hands, or lips
- Constant fatigue
- Confusion, disorientation, dizziness
- Loss of consciousness
Overhydration can lead to hyponatremia (8). Hyponatremia is when you do not have enough sodium in your bloodstream. When you experience low blood sodium levels, your cells begin to swell. This can lead to kidney disease, heart failure, and brain swelling.
When it comes to your hydration, make sure to pay attention to your body: learn the signs of both overhydration and dehydration. Be conscious of your water intake throughout the day and be sure to make the necessary adjustments to account for exercise and climate.
BENEFITS OF DRINKING ECHO ANTIOXIDANT WATER™
Echo Antioxidant Water™ can enhance the benefits of regular water and improve overall health. Did you know that there are over 1,000 studies supporting the benefits of hydrogen-infused water? Hydrogen-infused water has been shown to:
- Improve your immune system
- Prevent the Increase of blood lactate in high-intensity workouts
- Reduce inflammation and oxidative stress
- Boost gut health
- Reduce allergies
- Help with certain behavior and mood disorders
- Prevent certain types of hearing loss
- Help with weight loss
- Fight aging
- And more
For more information on the benefits of Echo Antioxidant Water™, visit this page.