Healthy Living

Water water everywhere...but how much do you need?

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The average person is between 55 and 60 percent water.

But how much do we really need to stay healthy?

Water in our bodies is used to cushion and lubricate joints, regulate temperature, and to nourish the spinal chord. The brain and heart are about 75 percent water, while lungs are about 83%, and even bones are 31%.

So if we’re already essentially just bags of water walking around, why do we need to drink any?

We lose about ¾ of a gallon of water per day through sweating and urination. Replacing this fluid loss is essential to avoid dehydration, which forces everything in your body to work harder and causes drops in energy, mood, blood pressure, and in extreme cases, death.

So how much water do we need per day?

It used to be conventional wisdom that 8 glasses a day was fine for everyone, but science now points to the idea that each person’s daily water intake requirements are unique to them, based on a variety of factors.

A general rule of thumb, though, is that men require about 2/3 a gallon to a gallon of water per day, while women need a half gallon to ¾ of a gallon. But this goes up or down depending on activity level and age.

Drinking water isn’t the only way to get it, either. In fact, water from food makes up about 1/5 of our daily intake. Even beverages like coffee and juice can work toward the total.