waterBy: Scott Campbell and Julian Ellis
 

When you are out in the sun this month having fun with friends and family, it can be easy to get caught up with whose winning your big sports match, and forget about the importance of staying well hydrated.

Thankfully, remembering the following facts and tips will help you understand how much fluid you need to stay healthy and which fluids you should choose most often.

The Importance of Water

Our bodies are made up of over 60% water and it serves many important roles to keep us healthy.1
Water helps to:

  • Move nutrients and waste throughout your body
  • Keep your blood pressure normal
  • Control your body temperature
  • Lower your risk of dehydration and heat stroke2

How Much Water Do You Need?

The amount of water that a person needs depends on their age and gender as well as the weather, clothing worn, and intensity and duration of physical activity.

Many people tend to rely on their thirst to tell them when they need more fluids. However, thirst is not the best way to judge if you need a drink, because if you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated!3

The table below, provided by Eat Right Ontario, can be used as a guide for how much fluid you should drink every day:

[column col=”1/4″]LIFE STAGE:

Infants

0-6 months
7-12 months

Young Children
1-3 years old
4-8 years old

Older children
9-13 year old girls
9-13 year old boys

Women
14-18 year old
19 years and older
Pregnant
Breastfeeding

Men

14-18 years old
19 years and older

[/column]

[column col=”1/4″]AIM FOR (CUPS)*

Infants
3**
2.5

Young Children
3.5
5

Older children
6.5
7

Women
7
9
9
12.5

Men
10.5
12

[/column]

[column col=”1/4″]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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[column col=”1/4″]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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*1 cup = 250 mL

**From breast milk or formula

 

This table provides an average amount of fluids required for each age group. You may require more or less than the amount suggested.

So how do you know if you are getting enough fluids?

How to Know if You Are Drinking Enough

It is important to recognize signs of dehydration, which happens when your body is using water and fluids at a faster rate than you are consuming them. There are three simple steps that can be used to ensure you are drinking enough fluids and avoiding dehydration:

  1. Check your thirst: If you are thirsty or have a dry mouth, you are not drinking enough.
  2. Check your urine: If your urine is light yellow or clear, this means that you are drinking enough fluids. On the other hand, if your urine is dark and has a strong smell, you may be dehydrated.
  3. Check your mood: If you have a headache, feel light headed or tired, these could be signs of dehydration.2

Tips to Meet Your Fluid Needs 2

  • Drink water when you are thirsty. Avoid soft drinks.
  • Keep fluids nearby whenever possible.
  • Enjoy other fluids such as milk, 100% vegetable or fruit juices and low salt soups to help you meet your fluid needs.
  • Drink decaffeinated beverages to keep you hydrated. (Drinks with caffeine should be limited to 2-3 cups per day).
  • Remember to drink more on hot summer days and when you are active.

 

If you have a medical condition which limits your fluid intake, contact a health-care professional before making any changes to your fluid intake.

For more information about staying hydrated, ask your knowledgeable pharmacy team at Canadian Compounding Pharmacy.
Give us a call at 416-239-3566 or leave a comment below.

References

  1. Soong J. What Counts as Water? Stay Hydrated and Healthy. Accessed August 10, 2013
  2. Eat Right Ontario. Facts on Fluids – How to Stay Hydrated. Accessed August 10, 2013
  3. American Heart Association. Staying Hydrated – Staying Healthy. Accessed August 10, 2013