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Recommended Water Intake by Age

Updated on November 14, 2016

What Is the Recommended Water Intake?

Water is so important for our daily activities as well as for keeping us healthy, however, water requirements vary according to individual needs. What is the recommended water intake by age? It's an ordinary question having no simple answers. Research provided different recommendations for years, still the truth is, your water requirements depends on many factors, your state of health, how active you are and where you are located.

While no particular system will suit every person's need, learning more about your body's requirement can help you figure out how much water to drink each day.

Water is your body's essential chemical substance and comprises about 60% of your body weight. All processes of your body depend on water. Water flushes out waste products from vital organs, carries essential nutrients around the body and provides hydration for ear, nasal and throat tissues.

Not enough water can result in dehydration, a condition resulting from insufficient water intake. Even a slight dehydration can squeeze your energy making you weak and tired.

Recommended Water Intake by Age

Your body loses water by breathing, sweating, urination and bowel movements. For the body to work well, you have to replenish the loss fluids by drinking beverages and eating foods containing water.

So how much water does a normal, healthy individual living in a moderate environment require? The recommended water intake for men is 3 liters (about 14 glasses) of total fluids consumption a day. For women is 2.2 liters (about 10 glasses) a day. While babies and infants need 0.7 to 0.8 liters of water daily from breast milk or formula. Small children need 1.3 liters to 1.7 liters everyday. Boys, age ranges from 9 to 13 need 2.5 liters every day. Girls, ages 9 to 13 need 2 to 2.5 liters daily.

We all have heard the advice, "Drink eight 8 glasses of water daily." That's about 1.9 liters, which isn't that far from the Institute of Medicine guidelines. While the “8 glasses a day” rule isn't backed up by medical research, it stands popular due to the fact it's easy to remember. Try to remember that the rule needs to be express differently as: "Drink more than eight 8 glasses of water every day".

Factors That Affects Your Water Intake

It is advised to change your water consumption based on the exercise you are doing, environment, health problems, and if you're pregnant or breastfeeding.

Exercise - After you exercise or take part in any strenuous activity, it is necessary to drink more water to replenish for the fluid loss. An added 400 to 600 milliliters (more than 2 glasses) of water should be sufficient for short periods of exercise, but intensive exercise lasting over an hour (for example, running a marathon) needs additional fluid intake . How much added fluid is necessary would depend on how much you perspire during your exercise work out, and the length or type of training. During long periods of harsh exercise, it's advisable to have sports drink containing sodium, because it will help restore sodium lost in sweat and prevent developing hyponatremia, which is often serious. Also, constantly replace fluids after you're complete training.

Environment - Hot or humid climate can make you perspire and demands extra consumption fluid. Heated interior can make your skin lose moisture during the winter season. Additionally, altitudes more than 8,000 feet (2,300 meters) can induce frequent urination and more accelerated breathing, using up more of your fluid reserves.

Sickness or health problems - Once you have fever, nausea or diarrhea, your body loses more fluids. For these conditions, you need to drink plenty of water. In most cases, your doctor may advise oral re-hydration liquids, like Gatorade or Powerade. Furthermore, you may need higher fluid intake once you develop a number of ailments, such as bladder disorders or kidney stones. Although, some conditions like heart failure and some forms of kidney, liver and adrenal conditions may upset excretion of water as well as require that you control your fluid consumption.

Being pregnant or breastfeeding - Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding require even more water to stay well hydrated. Large amounts of fluid are being used specially when breastfeeding. The Institute of Medicine suggests that expecting mothers drink 2.5 liters (about 10 cups) of fluids every day and women who breast-feed drink 3.2 liters (about 13 cups) of fluids daily.

Fruits and Veggies as Water Sources

Although it's a good idea to have water ready at all times, you don't have to depend only on what you drink to satisfy your water requirements. The foods you eat add to your fluid needs. Typically, food gives you about 20% of total water intake. Take for instance, many fruits and veggies, like watermelon and tomatoes, are 90% water by weight.

Similarly, refreshments like milk and juice are made up mostly of water. Beer, wine and caffeinated drinks like coffee, tea or soft drinks can add more, however these must not be a major part of your daily total water consumption. Water remains your best choice because it's calorie-free, inexpensive and easily accessible.

Keeping yourself properly hydrated
Essentially drink enough fluid to help avoid frequent thirst and produce 1.5 liters (6 .4 cups) or more of clear, light yellow urine a day. If you're curious about your water intake or have health concerns, consult your doctor or a licensed dietitian. Medical professionals can help you determine the amount of water you need.

To avoid dehydration make sure you drink the right amount of water daily. It's best if you:

  • Drink a glass of water or comparable no-calorie or low-calorie drinks with every meal and between each meal.
  • Always keep yourself properly hydrated before work outs, during and after sessions


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      Pharme961 3 years ago

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      Johne868 3 years ago

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      JP Carlos 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      I grew with this 8 glasses a day. But more often than not, I exceed this quota. True, what we do and the environmental factors as well as my physical health determines how much I need. But i don't consciously count. As long as i feel thirsty, I indulge.

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      howtostayhealthy 4 years ago

      RTalloni Thanks so much for the wonderful comment. I'm glad the information has been of use to you.

      Will add more informative and useful hubs for people to read.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      Thanks for this look at the importance of drinking enough water. I needed the reminder and information is powerful motivation! :)

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