Staying hydrated daily activity is very important especially when living the humid tropical weather in Indonesia. Hot weather can cause evaporation and water loss even more for those with active lifestyle and lots of outdoor activities.
That is why we often hear the suggestion to drink enough water or at least to drink 8 glasses of water each day. Many of us even already practice the suggestion as our minimum daily fluid intake. However, is there actually a scientific reasoning for such practice? And what are the benefits of staying hydrated?
How Much Water Do We Need Daily?
The amount of fluid needed by each person is different from on another depending on several factors:
When playing sports and sweating, we need to drink more fluid. Drink before, during, and after exercising.
Hot or humid weather makes us dehydrated easily.
General Health Condition
The body loses fluid during fever, vomiting, or diarrhea. Drink more fluid or follow doctor’s orders to drink oral rehydration solution. Other conditions requiring more fluid are urinary tract infection or stone.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
We need to stay hydrated during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Is It Necessary to Drink 8 Glasses of Water Each Day?
Signs that we have adequate hydration are:
- Rarely feels thirsty
- Clear or light yellow urine
The number of 8 glasses per day originally came from the US Food and Nutrition Board in 1945 which recommended 2.5 litres of fluid as daily intake. But, the recommendation missed scientific reasoning because it was not based on any previous studies. Actually, by consuming regular diet with extra drink such as coffee, juice, or other drinks, we can consume up to 2 litres of fluid daily without additional intake.
If the body is dehydrated, we will feel thirsty. But in the elderly, the thirst reflex is reduced causing older people becoming dehydrated without notice. On the other hand, many elderly need to limit their water intake due to health conditions such as in kidney diseases.
We must remember that consuming excess water or fluid does not pose any benefits although it is suspected that it can remove toxins from the body or assist the kidney, but it is not true. For older people, the family or caregiver need to provide adequate fluid daily and monitor urine color or signs of dehydration.