Menstuff® has compiled the following information regarding how
much water (in addition to tea and other liquids) the average human
being should drink a day.
The Great Water Debate
In fact, according to Dr. Heinz Valtin, professor emeritus at Dartmouth Medical School, no published scientific data supports the 8-times-8 theory. He asserts that we get much of the water we need from the foods and beverages (other than water) that we consume.
Warnings about the dehydrating effects of coffee and alcohol may be off base, as well. A study by researchers at the Center for Human Nutrition in Omaha, Neb., found no difference in the levels of hydration among men who drank water only and men who drank equal amounts of water, caffeinated soda and coffee.
It is important to note, however, that the conclusions of these studies apply to healthy adults who live in temperate climates and are mostly sedentary. The game plan changes substantially when you add vigorous activity, warmer temperatures or certain health conditions.
In response to Dr. Valtin's study, some health experts are downsizing their water recommendations to five or six 8-ounce glasses per day, but if you are physically active you need more -- at least 7-10 additional ounces for every 15-20 minutes of exercise.
And don't rely on your thirst as a guide when you are exercising.
"Athletes voluntarily replace only two-thirds of sweat losses," notes Nancy Clark, a registered dietitian and author of "Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook." She recommends drinking according to the following schedule:
If the weather is hot, add a few ounces to these recommendations. To insure that you take in enough fluids, weigh yourself before and after your workout, and drink a pint of water for every pound you lost. You should also monitor your urine. If it is dark yellow, you aren't getting enough water.
You may find it helpful to have bottled water within easy reach throughout the day. Keep a supply in your desk, in the rooms you frequent in your home, in your car, anywhere you are likely to see it.
If you exercise for periods longer than one hour or in extremely
hot or dry environments, consider using a sports drink that also
replenishes the sodium, potassium, chloride and magnesium that are
lost through perspiration. And what about those vitamin-fortified and
oxygenated waters: Are they worthwhile? Probably not. Most
vitamin-fortified waters contain only 1-2 percent of the recommended
daily amount of any particular vitamin, and oxygenated water has no
measurable affect on athletic performance according to a study by the
American Council on Exercise (ACE).
Source: Judi Sheppard Missett is CEO of Jazzercise Inc., an international aerobic-dance instruction company. www.thirdage.com/news/archive/ALT02030728-03.html