How much water should you drink?

How much water should you drink?

Mild dehydration can cause headaches and alter brain function 

 

Health authorities have long since told us to drink 8 eight ounce glasses of water a day.  Or 64 ounces.  That’s about 2 liters or about a half-gallon of water.  As with most things the correct answer is – it just depends. 

It’s July and the heat and humidity are putting a full court press on our home inspectors in Atlanta, GA and Charleston, SC.  Attic temperatures can reach around 150 degrees with my personal record being 154.  This means you sweat more.  A lot more.  At the very least, you should drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day.  And that’s in the best of circumstances.  Now, imagine crawling through a 150 degree attic where you might lose 1% of your bodyweight in sweat in a short period of time. 

Temperature of Atlanta attic during home inspection

For anyone that runs at lunch, you know that once you stop the exercise you continue to sweat long after it’s over.  The body cools by the evaporation process so while you might be in a nice air-conditioned home, you still have to find a way to cool the body down.  As sweat evaporates off the skin it creates a cooling effect and that is why we sweat. 

Studies show that mild dehydration caused by exercise or heat can harm aspects of brain function.  One study in women showed that a fluid loss of 1.36% after exercise impaired mood and concentration levels while increasing the frequency of headaches. 

For this reason, we encourage our home inspectors to drink at least a gallon of water a day.  Some may need more than others, but a good rule of thumb is when you’re thirsty, drink.  When you’re not thirsty anymore, stop drinking.