How much water should we be drinking every day?

Water consumption: myths vs. reality

Colourless, odourless, and perfectly natural, water is as simple as it is essential.

H2O is key to human life and maintaining good health, but how much should we really be drinking every day? Is it possible to drink too much water? And can water be found in other drinks and foods? Let’s take a deeper dive into the hidden benefits of H2O.

Just as we need oxygen to live, we need water to function at our best. Filling our lungs with air to breathe comes naturally, but when it comes to drinking water, it’s not always so simple.

Water is an essential ally on all fronts

Water is invaluable to maintaining good health and making sure our vital organs function at their best. The human body is made up of 60-70% water, mainly in the form of fluids that help power the body’s vital functions. From regulating our body temperature to lubricating our joints, eyes and digestive tracts, water plays an essential role in everything we do.

How much water should we be drinking every day?

The average human body releases up to two litres of water every day, so replenishing what’s lost is a must. How much we need to drink depends on our age, body type, level of physical activity and daily conditions.  

Children under 12 years old: drink regularly throughout the day

Kids have the energy of 10 adults and are always on the move. So how can we make sure they stay properly hydrated? As a general rule, a one-year-old should drink between seven and 10 glasses of water per day (that’s half a cup or 125 ml). And the older they get, the more water they need. According to nutritionist Hélène Laurendeau, children under 12 should drink one glass of water every 20 minutes in warmer weather and when they’re physically active.

Teens: water and only water

Teenagers should consume between 2.5 and 3 litres of water per day—even more than adults of similar weight. But their desire for sugary drinks tends to trump their need for proper nutrients.

A study conducted by Harvard University researchers found that nearly one in two American teens don’t drink enough water. Why? Almost 25 percent of them say they prefer juices, carbonated drinks and other water substitutes. So try appealing to their taste buds with naturally-flavoured carbonated spring water.  

Adults: do the math 

Even though adults are usually less active than little ones, they still need to stay hydrated. And it’s generally advised that they drink at least 1.5 to 2 litres of water every day. 

To work out how much water you should be drinking, nutritionist Hélène Baribeau created this universal formula to calculate your daily water needs. Simply multiply your weight in kg by 30 ml. So someone who weighs 70 kg needs around 2,000 ml (or 2 L) of water per day. Don’t forget to increase your intake based on other factors like health conditions, working out and warm weather. 

Sports: the more you move, the more you need to drink 

Whether you’re working out at the gym or playing team sports, water is a must. But it’s not only there to quench your thirst when the game is over. It’s recommended to drink half a litre of water before every workout and to drink continuously throughout your sweat session (around 1 litre per every hour of activity).

Not all sports are created equal

It’s important to keep in mind the intensity and duration of your workout, too. You’ll need more water for an hour of CrossFit than you will for a 20-minute yoga session. Going for a hike? Pack water bottles of different sizes depending on the length and difficulty of the hike and how much room you have in your bag. That way you won’t run out before you get to soak up the views at the top. 

60 years and older: consistency is key

For adults aged 60-plus, the formula changes a bit as the body’s ability to retain water decreases with age. To work out your recommended water intake, simply multiply your weight in kg by 25 ml, and make sure to distribute that amount consistently throughout the day. 

Secret water sources: other drinks and certain foods 

You can find water anywhere that there’s life! While the human body is made up of 60 percent water, fruits and veggies contain up to 80 percent. Plants, broths, juices and other drinks can also keep you hydrated, plus they have the added bonus of health-boosting nutrients. 

Watch out for refined sugars 

Juices and other drinks may quench your thirst, but they’re also packed with sugar and sodium—even if the packaging claims it’s a “healthy” product. Make sure you check the label before you buy. Or opt for natural spring water to stay hydrated without the guilt!  

Whether you’re young or old, practicing Pilates or playing hockey, drinking fresh, clean water is essential to good health. When it’s time to hydrate, follow your true nature, choose wisely and make sure you’re drinking the right amount for you.

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