Did you know that 60 to 70 percent of the average adult human body is composed of water. If you're a 120-pound female, you're made of at least 72 pounds, or 36 quarts, of water. If you're a 175-pound male, you're carrying around at least 105 pounds, or 52 to 53 quarts, of water. In either case, that's a lot of liquid. It's there for work. Water is critical because it allows all of our physiological processes to take place. In other words, water makes our lives possible. Without water there are no organs, tissues, and cells; and if there are no cells, there is no life.
Thus, water is essential to our survival. But our internal supply of water is dynamic. We use up more or less water depending on our activities. Of course, being more physically active causes more water to be consumed by the body. Your kidneys maintain dynamic control over the amount of water in your blood as one of the primary means of regulating blood pH. Even minor deviations from optimal pH levels can result in symptoms such as fatigue, headache, increased heart rate, muscle pain and cramps, and jaundice. Staying hydrated is as important a requirement for good health as is regular exercise, a healthy diet, and obtaining necessary rest.
The question you should be asking right about now is how much water should I drink each day? Drinking sufficient water takes a little bit of effort, but there is a big payoff. In fact, the recommendation to drink more water is possibly the most important nutritional advice one could receive. If you are not drinking enough water, any other nutritional improvements will have less of an impact. Specifically, the recommended daily intake for adults is 64 ounces of water each day. This amount is approximately two quarts or half a gallon of water daily.
Importantly, you can never really drink too much water, as your kidneys will immediately excrete the excess. But obtaining too little water is always a danger. Hikers and those living or working at altitude know that by the time you feel thirsty (or your mouth feels dry), it's too late. The solution is to make sure you're hydrated throughout the day. Such actions will help your metabolic processes and overall physiology maintain a steady state. The result will be increased energy levels all day long and improved long-term health and well-being.