Pure water is essential for hydration of the skin and muscles and to promote healthy circulation and organ system functioning, especially the gastrointestinal system. Keeping yourself properly hydrated can also significantly reduce your chances of getting cancer. Studies have shown that women who drank more water (eight glasses or more daily) had less than 50% the risk of developing colon cancer and 80% less chance of developing bladder cancer than women who drank less.
The general consensus is to drink 8 to 10 eight-ounce glasses of water per day, and this is a good starting point. However, everyone’s needs are different. The temperature of your environment, your current state of health, how much exercise you do, whether you are pregnant or breastfeeding, and how much water you get from your food (20% is the average) are all factors to consider when deciding how much water you need to consume daily.
You are probably drinking enough fluid if you eliminate between 32 and 64 ounces of colorless or slightly yellow urine daily. Darker urine usually indicates that you need to increase your water intake. Do not wait until you are thirsty to drink water: by that time, you may already be slightly dehydrated. The ability to identify dehydration becomes more difficult with age because the body is less able to send the brain signals that it is thirsty. To help ensure you are getting enough water:
Drink one glass of water before each meal and one between meals. These should be taken slowly, not gulped down.
Drink water before, during, and after you exercise.
Brighten your water with a squeeze of lemon or lime.
If you increase the amount of fiber in your diet, you will likely need to add 1 or 2 more eight-ounce glasses of water daily.
Substitute a glass of sparkling water for alcohol at social events.