Hydration and Your Body
Most of us understand that staying hydrated is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. But what does water really do for our bodies? Water is essential for human life — we can survive only a few days without it.
Studies show that the vast majority of healthy people meet their daily hydration needs by letting thirst be their guide. Recognizing your thirst and your body’s ongoing need for water is essential to the health and proper functioning of your body.
A 2004 report from the National Academy of Science (NAS) acknowledged the importance of water in staying hydrated and found that all beverages and foods contribute to hydration. The study said men are adequately hydrated by consuming 100 ounces of fluids per day, including drinking water and other beverages, and women at a level of just more than 72 ounces. That does, indeed, give support to – and goes beyond – the general guidance to consume eight, 8-ounce (64 ounces total) servings of water each day. For consumers who choose water as a beverage for hydration and refreshment, bottled water is an excellent choice because of its consistent safety, quality, good taste, and convenience.
According to the NAS, temporary underconsumption of water can occur due to heat exposure, high levels of physical activity, or decreased food and fluid intake. However, on a daily basis, fluid intake driven by thirst and the habitual consumption of beverages at meals is sufficient for the average person to maintain adequate hydration.
In addition, the NAS points out that prolonged physical activity and heat exposure will increase water losses and therefore may raise daily fluid needs. Very active individuals who are continually exposed to hot weather often have daily total water needs of six liters or more, according to several studies. For consumers who choose water as a beverage for hydration and refreshment, bottled water is an excellent choice because of its consistent safety, quality, good taste, and convenience. (Source: Dietary Intake Levels for Water, Salt and Potassium to Maintain Health and Reduce Chronic Disease Risk, National Academy of Science, 2004)
How much water do you need?
Find your answer in the 2004 study from the National Academy of Science.
Try our Hydration Calculator to figure out your recommended fluid intake.
Did you know?
Water can make up to 75% of your body weight.