HOW MUCH SHOULD I DRINK (AND EAT)?
Our bodies are all different, and the amount of water we need may be different too, depending on where we live, our age and health, how active we are and other factors. There is no one amount of water that is perfect for everyone.
What is the same is that about 60% of our body weight is water (74% in newborns). This means the body is made up of more water than anything else and plays a major role in keeping our body working as it should.
The water we lose each day in our breath, sweat, urine and bowel movements must be replaced in the body to prevent dehydration. How much? The Institute of Medicine suggests that women need 9 cups of liquids/day and men about 13 cups/day.
Maybe that sounds like a lot to you. But all liquids count, even drinks that contain caffeine, such as coffee, tea and soda. And, if you make certain food choices, about 25% of the water that enters your body may be in the foods you eat. Vegetables like lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli and spinach are more than 90% water. The same is true of fruits like watermelon, strawberries, grapefruit and cantaloupe. Cooked oatmeal is 84% water, a hamburger is 50% water and even bread contains about 36% water.
Most healthy people get the right amount of water from a well-balanced diet. The best way to be sure you are well hydrated is to look at the color of your urine. If it is colorless or very pale yellow, you are doing fine. If it is dark yellow you may need more water in your system. The best way to do this is to drink a glass of water.