Why you should hydrate more

Drinking enough water every day is critical for your circulation, metabolism, temperature regulation and waste removal, but Americans, particularly children and adolescents, aren’t drinking enough. A national study on the hydration levels of kids and teens across the U.S. by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that more than half of all children and adolescents aren’t drinking enough water. Boys are 76 percent more likely than girls, and non-Hispanic blacks 34 percent more likely than non-Hispanic whites, to be inadequately hydrated.

Although excessive dehydration is associated with serious health problems, even mild dehydration can cause issues, including headaches, irritability, poorer physical performance and reduced cognitive functioning, say the researchers.

So how much water do you need? This is a difficult question to answer because it depends on your size and activity levels, and has led some experts to recommend that your intake be guided by your thirst levels.

However, the American Institute of Medicine has recommended 11-plus cups of water a day for women and 15-plus cups a day for men. These guidelines are for all fluid intake, including that from all food and beverages.

Check out more tips on how to stay hydrated here.