Hey there! I’m Brett McNeil, the fitness consultant for FitMinutes. Throughout the month, I’ll be answering a few questions from our readers. This week, it’s all about the H2O. Read on to find out how much water you should really be putting into that bod of yours.
Q: How much water should I be drinking every day?
A: This simple question, unfortunately, doesn’t have a simple answer. Just like a diet, one size does not fit all. Everyone’s magic number is different and depends on several different factors like how active you are, what you do for a living and even the type of environment you live in. For instance, an elite athlete, or even your daily gym goer will likely need to drink more water throughout the day than someone who works a 9-5 desk job and doesn’t have a terribly active lifestyle. If you are partaking in an activity that makes you sweat a lot, you need to cover the fluid loss and should be drinking lots of water before, during and after whatever the activity is. Similarly, the water intake of someone who lives in a hot climate would likely need to be much higher than that of someone say living in Northern Canada.
Q: Got it. But let’s talk numbers—how much should I be aiming for if I live in an average climate?
A: The old advice of drink 8 glasses of water a day is a good goal to strive for. According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, an appropriate daily amount for an average healthy male is 3.7 liters of fluids and 2.7 liters of fluids for an average healthy female. I stress fluids here because we don’t just need to get our water intake from simply drinking it. There are tons of fruits and vegetables that are composed of mostly water, such as watermelon or spinach, and these can be considered when determining how much liquid your body needs on a daily basis. However, even though you can get water and liquid intake from other sources, it’s extremely important that we are also drinking water, considering our body weight is made up of about 60% of it.
Q: How will I know if I am drinking enough water?
A: You will rarely feel thirsty if you are consistently drinking enough water. Track how many glasses of water you are drinking daily for about a week. If you notice consistency in your daily water intake, and you are rarely feeling thirsty or dehydrated, you are likely on the right track. Another easy way to tell if you are drinking enough water is by the color of your urine. It should be colorless or light yellow, and if you consistently see that, again you are probably on the right track. If you know a registered dietician, they would also be a great person to chat with about a good amount of water for you, daily.
To sum it up, drinking water is a very important, yet so simple key to becoming a healthier human. I hear it all the time that people just “don’t drink enough water” but if you live in a place where water is always available, then it shouldn’t be difficult to get enough of it every day. My pro tip? Pick up a favorite bottle and carry it with you at all times. Drink, refill and repeat throughout the day.
Have a health or fitness related question for me? Or just want to say hey? Reach out in the comments below!