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Water is an essential component to overall health, but how much should we really be drinking every day? There are guidelines for all types of people, and scientists from all different sources have had opinions about this for years, but the answer may just be simpler than you think.

Over the years, studies have produced various recommendations over the years, but the difficulty is that water intake is not a one-size-fits-all equation. Different people need different intake, and it depends on factors including how tall and heavy you are, how active you are, and even the geographical area where you live.

In your body, water functions as the primary component – making up more than 60 percent of your body weight. Every organ and system in your body depends on water, too, from your organs to cells. Water flushes toxins out of organs like your kidneys and liver, and it work to provide a healthy environment for your throat, for example, to talk and communicate.

You lose water through a host of endeavors, from obvious things like sweating, to less obvious actions like breathing. Because of that, and for your body to work the right way, you need to make sure you are constantly replenishing this water that you lose on a daily basis.

On average, the Institute of Medicine recommends that men replenish with about 13 cups of water a day, while women replenish with 9.9 cups – but these are not hard and fast rules. You’ve likely heard the advice “drink 8 glasses of water, each 8 ounces, every single day,” and while that doesn’t hit the IOM recommendations, it is still incredibly valuable even though it may not be based in science.

The bottom line is that it’s a good habit to get into when you start thinking about drinking more water on a consistent basis, and the 8-by-8 rule is generally something that most people can remember, use, and work on to remain consistent and stay hydrated every day.

When it comes down to it, your water needs will be unique to your body, but there will be some generalizations that everyone can use. First, we all need water. You can’t go without being hydrated, and it will only hurt you in the long run to try. Second, the only way you are going to drink more water is to remain consistent with it. Start early in the day, make sure you drink throughout the day as opposed to all in one sitting, and plan ahead. And third, make a commitment. Health begins with you – if you want to drink more water, and if it is important to you and your overall health, you will find a way.

A dozen cups of water seems daunting now, but remember – less really is more, and consistence counts when it comes to drinking more water!

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