Water is one of the most important chemical components of our body. It keeps us hydrated and helps us digest food properly. Over the years, studies have suggested various benefits of drinking water daily. However, the truth is that your water requirements rely on various factors, including the climate, your activity level, and most importantly, your health.
How Much Water Do We Need?
Earlier, drinking 6-8 glasses of water each day was considered a benchmark to keep us hydrated and “healthy”. There is, in fact, no scientific evidence to support this notion. According to Stanley Goldfarb, MD, professor of medicine at the Penn University, there is no clear scientific proof that drinking large amounts of water keeps us well hydrated and healthy.
The 6-8-glasses-of-water-a-day notion is passé, but European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has taken the initiative to standardize guidelines for healthy hydration. According to the EFSA, the daily water intake should be 2.5 liter each day for adult males and 2.0 liter each day for adult females to ensure proper hydration. The total daily water intake includes water from food and beverages apart from drinking water.
What Are the Benefits of Drinking Water Daily?
While a healthy person does not have to follow the 8-glasses-of-water-a-day guidelines, it is the elderly and pregnant and breast-feeding women who need to drink more water. An athlete or a sportsperson also need to be well hydrated to avoid cramps and hence should drink water to remain fit. Other benefits of drinking water daily include proper digestion, inhibit constipation, and proper absorption of nutrients.
Drinking Water Daily Helps the Elderly People Keep Hypertension, Indigestion and Constipation at Bay
Elderly people are more prone to indigestion, constipation and hypertension if they don’t drink water daily. Hence, drinking water daily helps them to avoid these common disorders effectively. Healthy elderly men and women should follow the water intake guidelines laid down by the European Food Safety Authority.
Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women Must Drink More Water Daily to Stay Hydrated
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should drink more water than the standard guidelines set by the EFSA. The Institute of Medicine (iom.edu) recommends 2.4 liters (approximately 9 cups) of daily intake of water for pregnant women and 3 liters (12.5 cups) of water daily for lactating women. Breastfeeding women must drink more water be hydrated, as the body loses more fluid during breastfeeding a baby.
Water and Weight Loss Regime
Countless health articles have been written on the potential benefits of drinking water daily to help lose weight quickly. Some dietitians and health experts are of the opinion that drinking more water each day will make you feel fuller and you will eat less. The results of a few studies conducted to validate this theory are conflicted. While some suggest that drinking plenty of water before meals decreases food intake, others don’t agree. However, further scientific studies may help to unveil the truth behind this theory.
Drinking Water Daily Helps in Digestion and Prevents Constipation
Water is an essential chemical component of our body and is important for proper digestion and absorption of key nutrients. Drinking water daily adds bulk to stool and softens it to ensure proper elimination. Drinking less water will mean infrequent bowel movements and dry stool. Drinking water as per the guidelines helps to have a well-functioning digestive system.
“Water: How much should you drink every day?” https://www.mayoclinic.com/health/water/NU00283
Doheny, Kathleen: “Benefits of Drinking Water Oversold?” https://www.webmd.com/diet/news/20080402/health-benefits-of-water-oversold
“Scientific Opinion on Dietary Reference Values for Water” https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/1459.htm
Pokorney, Marylin “Elderly Need To Drink More Water” https://www.healthguidance.org/entry/6728/1/Elderly-Need-To-Drink-More-Water.html