So, are you drinking enough?
You may have heard of the 8 glass recommendation – but how/why do we get there?
First, how much is enough?
In a clinical setting I would calculate 30ml of fluid per kilogram of weight as a baseline and adjust as necessary for different factors like certain diseases, physical activity, constipation, and protein or fiber supplements. Based on this, a healthy individual that is 135# would need at least 61 ounces of fluids per day. That comes out to about 7.5 glasses of fluid. According to a 2012 BMC Public Health Study, the average adult weight globally is 136, so the roughly 8 glasses of fluid on average makes sense.
BUT – does it have to be water?
You’ve probably seen the countless recommendations online of at least 8 cups of water a day. In order to really answer that question we have to note that the average adult weight in North America is the highest in the world at 178 pounds. This means fluid needs for a healthy adult, on average, are 80 ounces = 10 glasses per day. That’s the minimum on average, if you are eating more fiber then you need to increase your fluids, if you work outside you need more fluids, if you’re working out then you need more fluids before, during, and after workouts.
But, still – does it have to be water?
My answer is no but really yes!
The reason I say this is because you can get your fluids from a wide variety of sources. These include all kinds of drinks like water, fruit juices, smoothies, milk, caffeinated beverages, sports drinks; as well as various foods like many fruits and vegetables, broth based soups, ice cream, gelatin desserts.
I still recommend getting the majority of fluids from water for two reasons:
- We don’t usually consume the above items, besides creating a regular water habit, with any kind of regularity. For example, yes watermelons are over 95% water but people will change the fruits they eat daily and soup is not a staple component in the American diet. Some people do drink milk regularly though (although the majority of Americans are not consuming the recommended amounts of dairy), if that’s you then certainly count your glass or two of milk towards your fluids and adjust your water.
- Water in and of itself is a nutrient that is necessary for survival. Depending on the above components means adding other nutrients regularly that your body may not need. Especially, choosing the other beverages mentioned like juices, pop, and sports drinks that are high in added sugars or even those with alternative sweeteners added in.
Water influences literally every system in our body and regular water intake helps keep the systems functioning at max capacity as well as regularly removing toxins from the body. I recommend clients work their way up to 8 glasses a day. Clients find themselves more satisfied and satiated throughout the day, they drink less drinks with added sugars, they feel better, and most of them find it easy to do after a couple of weeks.
I’ll be covering a few tips in my next water post so be sure to follow me on FB/Insta to catch when I post it.
I work with each client individually to over come barriers and achieve their goals. Send me a message if you’re interested in focusing on your nutrition and need some help from an expert in the field!