As a personal trainer there are many questions I am repeatedly asked. This is one of them. When I am encouraging my clients to drink more water their immediate question is, “Well how much should I be drinking?”
If you do a quick google search there does not seem to be a clear-cut answer and many “experts” are not in total agreement. Some hold to the 8 glasses a day, some say just drink when you are thirsty and others claim about 3.5L for men and 2.5L for women. Here is what I say.
Water intake is dependent on your body weight. The more you weigh the more water your body needs. One reason for this is that larger bodies have a higher total volume of blood, 92% of which is water. In fact, the human body is about 60% water by weight.
To calculate your base water needs, take your weight in pounds and divide by two. The result is the number of ounces you should consume daily.
If, for example, you weigh 160lbs, your water intake would be 80 ounces, or 10 cups.
Body weight is not the only factor however.
Here are some other times when you need more water:
1. When in hot weather - drink as much water as possible
2. To account for sweat loss during intense exercise. A general rule is to add an extra 8oz glass of water for every 30 minutes of moderate to intense exercise
3. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding aim to add 2 extra 8oz glasses/day
4. If you have a health condition such as a bladder infection or are sick with the flu keep water intake higher than normal
This means that your water intake will fluctuate daily based on these variables.
Did you do the math? How much water do you need to drink? Does it seem like a lot?
If you are drinking well below your optimal level it may seem daunting to drink the recommended amount. But the good news is I’m not asking you to drink all that water tomorrow. If you did you would be in the bathroom every 5 minutes as you would literally flood your body.
Your kidneys function is to filter water and they need time to adjust to the higher volume. Give yourself time to adjust by gradually increasing your intake over a few days or even weeks if necessary.
If you are peeing a lot see this as a good sign that your body is doing its job and removing harmful toxins and waste products.
So… here’s to a large glass of water and to you staying healthy!