Diet-to-Go Blog
  1. The Benefits of Staying Hydrated and How Much Water to Drink

    Benefits of Hydration

    Water is an essential part of a healthy, well-rounded diet. In fact, studies show that hydrating often may slow the aging process and help you live longer.

    A National Institutes of Health study published this month in eBioMedicine linked staying hydrated to a host of health benefits, including:

    • Developing fewer chronic conditions.
    • Aging more slowly.
    • Living longer.

    Another 2019 study published in JCI Insight found that withholding water from mice shortened their life span by about six months, the equivalence of about 15 years in humans.

    “Not drinking enough fluids can raise your blood levels of sodium salt that raises blood pressure to increase the risk for arterial damage,” wrote Dr. Gabe Mirkin in a recent blog post analyzing the studies.

    In addition to adding years to your life, there are also a host of other benefits of drinking water and staying well-hydrated. They include:

    • Preventing headaches.
    • Aiding weight loss.
    • Relieving constipation.
    • Boosting mood and energy.
    • Maximizing physical performance.

    So, how much water should you drink each day? The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) says the average adult consumes more than five cups daily. And the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends women drink about 11 cups of fluid and men about 16 cups daily.

    But here’s the thing, it’s not a one-size-fits-all model.

    “Fluid requirements vary tremendously depending on the person and the conditions,” Mirkin wrote. “I believe that you should drink when you are thirsty and have at least a glass of fluid with each meal, and then probably some more several times during the day. If you have any health problems, you should check with your doctor for recommended fluid intake.”

    Fluid requirements change depending on birth sex, weight, height, metabolic rate, age, diet, and activity level.

    Everyday Health offers an online calculator to determine how much water you should drink each day using these factors.

    So, a female who isn’t pregnant or nursing, weighs 190 pounds, and eats six servings of fruits or vegetables each day should be drinking about 106 fluid ounces of water daily.

    And a male who weighs 290 pounds and eats eight servings of fruits or vegetables daily should drink about 160 fluid ounces daily.

    Those amounts could further increase if you are a very active person or if you drink alcohol, which dehydrates your body.

    Ultimately, finding out how much water you should drink depends on a wide variety of factors. Conscientiousness and paying attention to your consumption is an excellent first step toward getting the right amount of water.

    How much water do you drink each day? Share your insights in the comments below!



    Author: Caitlin H
    Diet-to-Go Community Manager

    Caitlin is the Diet-to-Go community manager and an avid runner. She is passionate about engaging with others online and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. She believes moderation is key, and people will have the most weight loss success if they engage in common-sense healthy eating and fitness.


    Nutrition Science
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