It is no secret that we need water to stay hydrated and healthy. And it is that our bodies are made up of 60% of the water that we constantly lose through sweat and urine.
So it is not surprising that we constantly hear recommendations about the amount of water we should drink a day. Some people advise drinking about two liters of water a day, others bet on three. There are also those who measure it in glasses, around eight. There are even voices that ensure that we must drink water all day, even when we are not thirsty.
But what of all this is true? how much water should i drink a day and why is it important to do so?
The quantity depends on many factors
The size of the person determines the amount of water to drink
As many recommendations are made, the truth is that there is a rule on the amount of water to drink. And this depends on factors such as the person’s body size or the amount of physical activity they do.
“One milliliter for each kilocalorie of energy consumed” explains the nutritionist and technical director of Alimmenta, Juana María González. The expert explains that this is equivalent to about 35 milliliters per kilo of weight. For example, if a person weighs 60 kilos they will have to ingest about 2,100 liters of liquid a day and if they weigh 80 kilos, the amount will be around 2,800 liters.
However, this does not mean that we should spend our days filling and drinking one-liter bottles of water. And, in addition to the water we drink, the body receives other contributions of liquid that also keep it hydrated.
” Solid foods also provide liquid to the body, around 750 milliliters, and the metabolism of food also provides liquid, between 200 and 300 milliliters,” says González.
Based on these factors, “some countries make recommendations that are normally around a liter and a half of water ” continues the technical director of Alignment.
It is not good to drink a lot, nor too little
If we drink excess water a cellular dilution takes place
To know when and how much we should drink, “the body has a regulatory mechanism that is thirst, ” adds González. Passing or falling short implies problems for our health.
“The problem with drinking too much water is that we can dilute ourselves,” says the expert. And, as he explains, “we have a constant concentration of substances that the body regulates so that there are no problems. If we drink too much the body will not be able to regulate them ”. The consequence of overdoing it is that excess fluid penetrates our cells and dilutes its components, “which produces hypothermia and fatal risk”.
The opposite case, drinking too little, will make us dehydrated. By not receiving the necessary amount of fluids, our body will begin to show certain signs such as thirst, dry mouth, darker urine, or headache.
Lack of fluid affects how the brain works
Slight dehydration can cause mood disturbances and difficulty concentrating
For our brains to work as they should, we need to be hydrated. This has been shown by different studies that have analyzed what happens when we lose fluid and do not replace it. Even when it comes to low quantities.
This is the case of a group of researchers from the University of Connecticut who determined that mild dehydration has consequences for our mood. The study was carried out with a group of young women after exercising and having lost 1.36% of the fluid. This slight dehydration caused the participants to present alterations in their mood, their ability to concentrate, and headaches.
The same happened in a study by the Institute of Environmental and Exercise Medicine in Dallas (Texas). In this case, the participants were men and, after exercising and losing 1.59% of the fluid, they showed higher levels of anxiety.
Being hydrated and headache
Drinking-Water Relieves Headache
In addition to mood, drinking little water can cause headaches and even migraines, according to research by the London Migraine Clinic.
Also, drink water when we have a headache helps to relieve symptoms and reduces the time discomfort.
Although there are situations in which we must be more aware, such as very hot seasons or when we exercise, it is important not to become obsessed with the amount of water we drink, it is not necessary to measure the number of liters per day.