Like oxygen, water is the most important element of life. It is essential for all vital processes. Our body is made up of 60% to 70% water and, during a day, an average person expends more than 2 liters of body water. So, how much water should we drink per day to restore our water needs? Given our size, the climate, or our way of life. We all have our own needs and the most important thing is to compensate for daily losses. We explain how.
Children and the elderly must ensure that they are well hydrated
A healthy adult is recommended to drink 1.5 liters of water per day. Part of our daily water intake comes from food. Fruits and vegetables contain more water than other foods. However, meat, fish, or eggs also provide us with it. It is then necessary to supplement by drinking between 6 and 9 glasses per day. Note that all liquids count. For example, coffee, tea, orange juice, or soup also complete our needs.
In seniors, the water content in the body decreases to 50%. In addition, the elderly are more susceptible to dehydration because the feeling of thirst and appetite decreases with age. This is why, even without being thirsty, they must think or be invited to drink regularly.
The daily amount a child should drink can vary greatly, depending on age and gender, as well as physical activity and weather conditions. Infants have higher water needs than adults. However, their needs are mainly covered by their consumption of breast milk. As a general rule, children between the ages of 4 and 13 should drink between 6 and 8 glasses of water a day. In summary :
girls and boys 4-8 years old need 1.1-1.3 liters per day;
girls 9-13 years old need 1.3-1.5 liters per day;
boys from 9 to 13 years old need 1.5 to 1.7 liters per day.
How much water to drink during an exercise?
During a workout, it is important to drink water before, during, and after the session. Dehydration can indeed prevent good training performance and, sometimes in extreme situations, it can even be dangerous for your health. Similarly, drinking too much water at the wrong time can also be detrimental to performance.
Whether in a gym, on a soccer field, or on a bike, sweating means loss of water. This is why drinking water is the best response. To stay at an optimal level of hydration, it is advisable to absorb about half a liter of water, two hours before the session. It is important to do this in advance to allow time for the body to assimilate the liquid.
During exercise, remember to hydrate regularly every quarter of an hour. Avoid consuming too much water and ice cold because it can cause stomach pain. When jogging or cycling, equip yourself with a water bladder or sports cap water bottles, so you can drink without stopping.
Typically, we lose about a liter of water per hour of training. However, this quantity varies according to the intensity and the activity practiced. Temperature and humidity also influence transpiration. This is why it is also important to continue drinking after the session, within two hours of your exercise. The total amount to be absorbed should correspond to at least half of the water lost.
How many liters of water to drink while hiking?
In hiking as during a sports session, hydrating properly serves to compensate for water loss. You should know that a loss of 1% of your weight in water reduces your physical abilities by 10%. Muscle fatigue increases as well as the risk of cramps. But also a drop in blood volume, blood pressure, an increase in heart rate, and the risk of tendinitis. The consequences of dehydration should not be taken lightly, which is why you should drink regularly without relying on the feeling of thirst because, when this occurs, your body is already suffering from dehydration.
Regarding the amount of water to take, knowing that normally an adult spends about 2 liters of water per day. The amount will depend on the physical effort, the climate, or if you can find refreshment points along the route. In this regard, a life straw filter will be a practical object to allow you to purify the water that you can find along the way.
Pregnant women: how to stay hydrated?
During pregnancy, a woman’s body undergoes changes to allow for the proper development of the fetus. On the other hand, while we often attach importance to the quality of the diet, we talk much less about the need to stay well hydrated. However, this is very important for both mother and baby. In addition, drinking water can also effectively combat certain disadvantages of pregnancy, for example:
However, the most important change for pregnant women is the increase in their body water, this is an increase of 6 to 8 liters in healthy women. This increase is necessary for the increase in blood volume. As well as the constitution and renewal of amniotic fluid or the creation of the placenta to allow the exchange of nutrients.
Water exchanges between a mother and her fetus represent more than 3.5 liters per hour. It is therefore essential for women to stay well hydrated throughout their pregnancy and, in particular, to significantly increase their water consumption near term.
Drinking too much water: side effects
To conclude, know that overhydration is also possible, the term used in this case is hyponatremia. It can occur when a person voluntarily consumes too much water. In particular, during the practice of extreme sports such as for example a marathon where athletes can sometimes have an incorrect perception of thirst.
Knowing that the recommended daily amount of water is between 1.5 and 2 liters, we can consider that drinking more than 3 liters of water too quickly, without practicing sustained physical activity, and without excessive heat could cause problems. In such a case, the kidneys do not have enough time to drain the excess sodium. The blood becomes thinner and its salt concentration decreases. This causes cells to swell, especially those of the brain, and can cause headaches or sometimes worse, hyponatremia, which can be fatal.