How much water do we need to drink? This miraculous body of ours is about 60% water. While we can live weeks or maybe months without food, but we’ll die in about 3 days without water.
That’s because water plays a role in nearly every body function. It’s critical to maintain body temperature, lubricate joints, carry nutrients throughout our body, and help in eliminating wastes.
Being dehydrated can trick us into thinking we’re hungry…so we eat.
Can also zap our energy – even 1-2% dehydration…that’s just a couple of cups of fluid…can make us feel fatigued, negatively affect our mood, and bring on headaches…with those individuals who are susceptible to them.
How Much Fluid Should We Be Drinking?
A very rough estimate is to take your weight (in pounds) divide by two…then convert into ounces.
160 pounds/2 = 80 ounces of fluid. 8 ounces in a cup…so 10 cups of fluid.
This isn’t exact for everyone. Some of us sweat more than others. Some of us get more water from the foods we eat. There’s lots of water in soup, but also in our fruits and vegetables.
What Counts As Fluid?
Milk and juice does. But, what about coffee, tea. Yes, they do. Wait, I thought caffeine was dehydrating and didn’t count. No, it still counts. While in the short term caffeine can be dehydrating, in the long term it is not. In other words, right after drinking coffee – or a diet soda, you might run to the bathroom more often, in the long run, the body naturally adjusts and you do not end up being more dehydrated.
While this research is relatively new, I innately knew this was not true because my dad, who’s 85 is not a prune. Only recently has he begun drinking something other than coffee, but for decades all he drank was coffee.
Now does that mean you should drink only coffee – or tea or soda – all day long? No, especially if it contains caffeine…previous video on the half-life of caffeine.
And, not if it’s a source of a lot of other added calories – sugar and cream. Some drinks contain hundreds of calories. And, these calories don’t fill you up…meaning that more likely to take in more calories than you need. PLUS, taking in empty calories from sugar and cream, means that you’re not getting the calories from healthier foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains….with their multitude of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.