Everyone’s heard of this rule of thumb: Drink 8 glasses of water a day. Does that mean you should chug a huge jug of H2O daily? Not necessarily.
The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies recommends women drink 91 ounces a day, and men 125 ounces. But water can come from a variety sources–not just your tap.
Generally, about 45 to 50 percent of daily water intake comes from drinking fluids, and about 35 percent from eating food. Fruits and veggies, for example, are loaded with water. You can also get water from juice, milk and coffee. Yes–a cup of java!
“They provide fluids just like any beverage. A slightly greater percentage of the ingested fluid may be urinated, but it’s still providing water,” sports nutritionist Nancy Clark tells Active.com, adding, “People who are used to drinking caffeinated beverages get accustomed to the caffeine and don’t urinate more fluid than they consume via their coffee or tea.”
The other 15-20 percent comes from water metabolism, where water is formed in the body by the oxidation of hydrogen in foods, including the metabolism of fat.
And remember, water needs are different for everyone and are influenced by body size, sweat rate, and physical activity. When you exercise, for example, your body regulates its core temperature by sweating.
Why does this matter to you? Depending on age and body composition, our bodies are composed of 50-75 percent water, so it’s important to balance the amount of fluid we take in with the amount we excrete. But don’t stress out about it–if you eat healthily and include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet, having a glass of water with meals and exercise should meet your needs.