How Much Water Does A Body Need?
A general rule of thumb is to drink eight 8oz. glasses of water a day. This is equivalent to 64oz or 2 quarts or almost 2 liters or half a gallon. For the average person in an average climate this is probably the right amount. But beware of averages. If you need 2qts of water a day and your spouse needs 4qts, then on the average you both need 3qts a day. Then you will be drinking a quart more than your body needs and you will be spending the better part of the day in the bathroom, while your spouse will be getting dehydrated. In this case, you will be better off - always err on the side of over hydrating.
Often the guideline is to drink daily half as many ounces of water, as the number of pounds in your body weight. In other words you would divide the number of pounds you weigh (say 170lbs) by two and you would drink that many ounces of water. For example - 170lbs/2 = 85. Thus, you should drink 85 ounces a day. The half-your-body-weight rule is certainly safe for avoiding dehydration but it may send you to the bathroom a little too often and discourage you. Under the half-your-body-weight rule, eight glasses of water will be sufficient only for people weighing 130lbs and below. In reality, this rule reflects the total daily need for hydration. But we get about 20% of our daily water intake from the foods we eat. So, if you are eating salty or low moisture foods, or if you are on a diet and eating less, then you need to drink more water. If your daily diet is rich in vegetables and fruits you don't have to make yourself go to the bathroom every 30 minutes.
Stick to the following rule - minimum of eight 8oz. glasses of water a day. Drink an extra glass every time you have coffee, tea, cola or anything containing caffeine. Add an extra glass every hour when you exercise, are trying to loose weight and during hot weather. And when you fly, drink as much water as you can - the airplane cabin arid air combined with the low pressure will suck the water out of you skin faster than you can replenish it.
The best way to tell if you are sufficiently hydrated is to take a look at the color of what goes in the toilet - pale yellow is good, dark is bad - up your water intake. Going every couple hours is also good, albeit a little excessive, once a day is too little and you are not drinking enough water.
Although unlikely to happen, there is such a thing as drinking too much water. It is called water intoxication, or hyponatremia and usually affects endurance athletes. It is induced by consuming too much water in a short time, while you are exerting yourself. The water depletes the body's salts and leads to electrolyte imbalance. Unless climbing a mountain and drinking too much water without consuming any food it probably will not happen to the average person. But it is something to watch out for.
About the Author: Stefan Raddi is the webmaster and editor of http://www.stefchoonline.com - an informational site dedicated to providing advice on the benefits of water.