Working out how much water you need to drink each day depends on a number of factors which include body weight and activity levels.
The human body is comprised of about 60% water and these levels should be maintained if possible to ensure proper hydration. But there is a problem and that is that we are constantly losing water from our bodies, mostly from urine and persperation but we also lose more in a number of other ways as well, such as breathing and bowel mvements.
According to the Mayo Clinic, (one of the most prestigious medical research hospitals in the world) we lose a total of about 10.3 cups a day from these body processes.
We get some water in the food we eat, but it typically amounts to only 20 percent of your daily needs – this is why it is important to keep drinking water to make sure our bodies water levels don’t drop too far. The consequences of excessive dehyrdation can lead to death!
Causes of Dehydration
- Fever, heat exposure,
- Too much exercise
- Vomiting, diarrhea, and increased urination
- Diseases such as diabetes
- The inability to seek appropriate water and food (as in the case of a disabled person)
- An impaired ability to drink (for instance, someone in a coma or on a respirator)
- No access to safe drinking water which may cause ialments that cause vomiting or severe diarrhea
- Lack of access to water
- Significant injuries to skin, such as burns or mouth sores, or severe skin diseases or infections (water is lost through the damaged skin)
Symptoms of Dehydration in Adults
The signs and symptoms of dehydration range from minor to severe and include:
- Increased thirst
- Dry mouth and swollen tongue
- Palpitations (feeling that the heart is jumping or pounding)
- Inability to sweat
- Decreased urine output
Urine color may indicate dehydration. If urine is concentrated and deeply yellow or amber, you may be dehydrated.
When to Seek Medical Care
Call your doctor if the dehydrated person experiences any of the following:
- Increased or constant vomiting for more than a day
- Fever over 101°F
- Diarrhea for more than 2 days
- Weight loss
- Decreased urine production
Take the person to the hospital’s emergency department if these situations occur:
- Fever higher than 103°F
- Sluggishness (lethargy)
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest or abdominal pains
- No urine in the last 12 hours
The Formula to Calculate Daily Water Needs
If you are not active, divide your weight in pounds (llbs) in half to determine how many ounces of water you should drink each day.
But if you are active, divide your weight by 2/3, instead of 1/2.