But how accurate is this pervasive recommendation?
While it's important to note that ample hydration is important for each and every person, the amount of fluids needed is unique to individuals based on activity levels, health, sex and environment.
A general recommendation for water intake from both fluids and food, according to The Institute of Medicine, is about 11 cups of fluid for women per day and about 15.5 cups of fluid for men per day.
Though your body gets fluids from milk, juice and some foods, water is the best source of fluids.
These figures differ, though, based on factors such as the following:
Those with conditions such as heart disease and/or diabetes may need to drink more fluids each day in order to keep the heart and other organs from become overexerted, according to the American Heart Association.
In addition, those with illnesses that cause fever, vomiting or diarrhea will lose fluids more quickly and thus must replenish them with a higher fluid intake.
The more active you are, the more fluid you'll lose through sweat. Pay careful attention to hydration levels during strenuous work, exercise or other activities.
Though the perception is that hydration must take a higher priority in hot conditions, it's actually necessary to focus on it in all extreme conditions, whether hot, cold or high altitude. This is especially important to note as the winter season descends: A focus on hydration is still crucial, even though it is not hot outside.
In extremely hot conditions, the body loses additional fluids through sweat. In extremely cold conditions, the body loses additional fluids through respiratory water loss. Finally, in high-altitude conditions, the body has a higher urination rate and loses more fluids.
In all these instances, great care should be taken so that the body is properly hydrated.
Perhaps the best way to evaluate hydration levels is by monitoring your urine. Pale urine indicates proper hydration levels, while darker urine signals that the body is not getting adequate fluids.
Posted: 12/30/2014 by
Filed under: Healthy Eating, Healthy Lifestyle