After all, how many glasses of water should we drink a day?  Discover the rule that helps you ingest the ideal amount

After all, how many glasses of water should we drink a day? Discover the rule that helps you ingest the ideal amount

The doctor Hélia Castro indicates that the amounts vary with age and explains the strategy to consume what is ideal. What is certain is that hydration is essential for everything: from a good intestinal functioning to the glow of the skin, passing through the improvement of memory and the reduction of tiredness.

Hydrating the body is essential, guarantees the doctor Hélia Castro, explaining that water is necessary to transport nutrients, hormones and other compounds in the blood. To CNN Portugal, the doctor explains the entire hydration process and clarifies the amount that should be consumed every day, which can vary from person to person.

What should you do to ensure good hydration?

According to the doctor, one should “ingest the daily amount of water necessary for the proper functioning of the body, which is made up of about 75% water”. However, the need changes throughout life: The proportion of water in the human body varies in different age groups, with a decrease as age advances”.

How many glasses of water do you need to drink a day?

The ideal, he advises, is to drink “about 8 glasses of 200ml of water/day or between 1500 to 2000ml of water/day”. To help achieve this goal, the specialist in general and family medicine recalls the “so-called “Rule of 8 glasses of water”. This is to help “people who have difficulty ingesting water to discipline themselves and drink the necessary amount”. The rule is simple: define and drink 2 glasses on an empty stomach; 1 in the middle of the morning; 2 before lunch; 1 mid-afternoon and 2 before dinner.

Does hydration change with age?

At any age, you should drink 1000-2000ml of water a day.

life cycle stage



Children (2 to 3 years old)

1.0 L/day

1.0 L/day

Children (4 to 8 years old)

1.2 L/day

1.2 L/day

Children (9 to 13 years old)

1.4 L/day

1.6 L/day

Teenagers and adults

1.5 L/day

1.9 L/day

Source: Institute of Hydration and Health, 2010 ( Note: The reference values ​​presented are close to those recommended for healthy individuals, although they may depend on several individual factors (physical activity, ambient temperature, disease situations, among others).

However, warns the doctor, some “patients with chronic kidney disease, on hemodialysis, may be an exception to this rule, because if the kidneys no longer work and do not produce urine, water intake will have to be limited, as excess can cause edema (swelling in the limbs, face, chest and abdomen) and cause heart failure”.

How to compensate for the lack of water in the elderly?

Dehydration is a common problem in the elderly, due, among other aspects, to the lower perception of the sensation of thirst, begins by explaining the family doctor, considering that “at this stage of the life cycle, it is still verified that many elderly people do not appreciate and / or have not developed habits of drinking water, making it necessary to find alternatives in other beverages that contribute to adequate hydration (milk, infusions, flavored water, fruit juices, nectars, for example) or foods richer in water (soups, stews, stews, salads, fruits, or jellies)”.

What is the impact of hydration on the body?

The consumption of water, and the consequent adequate hydration, has an impact “on the functioning of practically all organs”, says the doctor. Thus, water “is necessary to transport nutrients, hormones and other compounds in the blood, which is 83% water; our muscles contain 70% water; bones have 40-60% water and adipose tissue around 15%.

But the role of water in the body does not end there, says the doctor at the Cortes d’Almeirim Family Health Unit. “Water is essential for the physiological processes of digestion and absorption, it contributes to the maintenance of body temperature, improves kidney function, facilitating the elimination of toxins through urine; produces more dilute urine, preventing the formation of urinary tract and bladder stones; reduces the likelihood of urinary tract infections, by increasing the number of urination daily, which allows the excretion of bacteria lodged in the urinary tract.

The benefits of water are also visible at the intestinal level. This is because, as the doctor explains, “it reduces the consistency of stools, preventing constipation. It maintains vascular tone, preventing hypotension”. Even the nervous system shows gains with good hydration as it decreases less physical and psychological fatigue and improves attention and memory, she adds. And above all, it also improves the luminosity and radiance of the skin and makes the breath fresher.

What are the consequences of lack of hydration?

The answer is simple, guarantees Hélia Castro: lack of hydration can result in a long list of problems: kidney failure; increased risk of developing kidney, bladder, or urinary tract stones; increased risk of urinary tract infections; constipation; bad breath; physical and psychological fatigue; headaches, difficulties in concentration and memory; irritability; hypotension; dry skin; difficulty in eliminating bronchial secretions, which can become very thick due to dehydration.

4 alerts

The doctor takes advantage and leaves four warnings about water consumption:

  1. Do not drink less than 1000ml of water/day;
  2. Avoid sugary drinks to hydrate, because they generate more thirst and increase the intake of calories, facilitating weight gain
  3. Do not drink alcoholic beverages instead of water;
  4. It is not necessary to ingest more than 2500ml of water/day, unless the weather conditions require it (such as being exposed to high temperatures), or if you perform intense physical activity, or in case of loss of fluids due to associated diseases. fever, vomiting or diarrhea.

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