At its most basic, water is a molecule with one oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms, bonded together by shared electrons.
In general terms, the human body can go two to three days without water and, it is often said in survival guides, 30 to 40 days without food of any kind. When it comes to food, most clinicians now believe that women can survive longer than men without nourishment because women tend to have more body fat and less muscle mass, which requires more calories to maintain.
But how much water should you drink a day?
Well your total fluid intake depends on how active you are, the climate you live in, your health status, and if you’re pregnant or breast-feeding.
If you exercise or engage in any activity that makes you sweat, you need to drink extra water to compensate for the fluid loss. An extra 400 to 600 milliliters (about 1.5 to 2.5 cups) of water should suffice for short bouts of exercise, but intense exercise lasting more than an hour (for example, running a marathon) requires more fluid intake. How much additional fluid you need depends on how much you sweat during exercise, and the duration and type of exercise. During long bouts of intense exercise, it’s best to use a sports drink that contains sodium, as this will help replace sodium lost in sweat and reduce the chances of developing hyponatremia, which can be life-threatening. Also, continue to replace fluids after you’re finished exercising.
Environment – Hot or humid weather can make you sweat and requires additional intake of fluid. Heated indoor air also can cause your skin to lose moisture during wintertime. Further, altitudes greater than 8,200 feet (2,500 meters) may trigger increased urination and more rapid breathing, which use up more of your fluid reserves.
Illnesses or health conditions – When you have fever, vomiting or diarrhea, your body loses additional fluids. In these cases, you should drink more water. In some cases, your doctor may recommend oral rehydration solutions, such as Gatorade, Oralite or drinking 100Plus. Also, you may need increased fluid intake if you develop certain conditions, including bladder infections or urinary tract stones. On the other hand, some conditions such as heart failure and some types of kidney, liver and adrenal diseases may impair excretion of water and even require that you limit your fluid intake.
Pregnancy or breast-feeding. Women who are expecting or breast-feeding need additional fluids to stay hydrated. Large amounts of fluid are used especially when nursing. The Institute of Medicine recommends that pregnant women drink 2.3 liters (about 10 cups) of fluids daily and women who breast-feed consume 3.1 liters (about 13 cups) of fluids a day.
TIPS ON HOW TO ACTIVATE YOUR BODY
Two glass of water – After waking up – Helps activate internal organs.
One glass of water – 30 minutes before meal – Help digestion.
One glass of water – Before taking a bath – Helps lower blood pressure.
One glass of water – Before sleep – To avoid stroke or heart attack.
Two glasses of water – About 2:00 -3:00 o’clock in the afternoon to refresh the body and the mind.
After a meal. You should not drink lots of water during or within half an hour after a meal because it can slow down digestion.