To maintain good health and proper body functions, the amount of water in the body should remain relatively constant. Therefore, the amount of water lost daily must be replaced by an equivalent amount of daily water intake to maintain the proper balance.
It is important to keep in mind that water requirements can vary from one person to another and depend on several factors: physical activity, ambient temperature, health status (fever, diarrhoea, bleeding injury), physiological condition (pregnancy, lactation), age and gender, among other things.
A sedentary adult with normal physiological conditions in a temperate climate (18°C – 20 °C), loses on average 2.5 litres of water a day (1). This water loss is due mainly to:
- the kidneys, through urine excretion (1.5 l per day)
- the lungs by breathing (0.35 l)
- the skin by perspiring (0.45 l)
- the intestines in the form of faeces (0.2 l)
- To avoid dehydration we need to ingest as much water as we loose.
Water is taken in from 3 major sources:
- water in food: 0.7 l
- metabolic water (which is produced in the body during biochemical reactions): 0.3 l
- drinking: 1.5 additional litres.
Water is the preferred drink to hydrate your body. Water is an essential nutrient for healthy hydration without bringing any other elements into the body. An over-consumption of sugar sweetened beverages can lead to excessive calorie intake, substitution of sugary beverages by water is one of the healthy habits which help to fight against overweight / obesity risk.
To learn more : Water in your body, key in a healthy diet