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Exactly how much water should you drink?

Posted on October 12, 2017 at 2:30 PM

The recommended amount of water to be drunk per day varies from person to person, depending on factors such as how active they are, how much they sweat, and body weight. There is no universally agreed upon amount of water that must be consumed daily, but there is a general level of consensus as to what a healthy amount is.

According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), an adequate intake for men is approximately 13 cups (3 liters) a day. For women, an adequate intake is around 9 cups (2.2 liters). However, if you want to do the math for your specific weight, a general guideline is to drink at least .5 ounces of water per 1 lb. of body weight.

An article I read in Mexico recently, to prevent/reduce inflammatory issues, even suggested that you drink a large quantity of water within 30 minutes of waking up – before eating or drinking anything else. Certainly, one way of tackling the challenge, if drinking that much throughout the day seems daunting.

Your body would be perfectly content if you drank nothing but water. You would get all the fluid you need and you would get all your nutrients from food. But with so many choices available, most people drink a variety of beverages.

To give some perspective, according to the Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health, the exact number of ounces from other liquids you drink isn’t what’s important. What matters are the proportions. Their panel suggests:

• Consuming less than 10 percent of daily calories from beverages:

At least half of your daily fluid should come from water. For a person who needs 12 cups of fluid a day, that would mean six cups of water. More is fine—up to 100% of your daily beverage needs.

• About one-third (or about three to four cups) can come from unsweetened coffee or tea. If you flavor your coffee or tea with a lot of sugar, cream, or whole milk, then drinking less would help manage weight. If you take a pass on coffee or tea, choose water instead.

• Low-fat milk can make up another 20 percent, or about two 8-ounce glasses. Less is fine, just make sure you get your calcium from another source.

• A small glass (4 ounces) of 100% fruit juice, and no more than 1 to 2 alcoholic drinks for men or no more than 1 for women.

• Ideally, zero “diet” drinks made with artificial sweeteners, but up to 1 to 2 glasses (8 to 16 ounces) a day (this is adapted from the Beverage Guidance Panel’s original recommendation of up to 32 ounces per day).

• Ideally, zero drinks sweetened with sugar or high-fructose corn syrup, but up to a maximum of 8 ounces.

So, here’s a toast, to your happy, healthy, hydration!

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Medical News Today: Why Is Drinking Water Important?

Last updated Tue 4 Oct 2016

By James McIntosh

Reviewed by Natalie Butler, RD, LD

Massage Therapy Principles and Practice Third Edition

Susan G. Salvo

Harvard: T H Chan School of Public Health

The Nutrition Source: Healthy Beverage Guidelines

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