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Staying Hydrated When You're Stuck at Home

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Posted by: Gina Misra | Date: July 12, 2020

People around the world have had to drastically change their daily routines because of the coronavirus pandemic. These changes in our routine can derail our healthy behaviors, including drinking enough water.

A lot of exercise websites say that even if you aren't exercising or running around, you still lose water from your body by evaporation. And when you lose water, you need to replenish it. But how much do we need to replenish?

Back in 1992, researchers measured how fast water evaporated from the skin of 12 women volunteers. It turns out, water evaporates the fastest from our hands, feet, and armpits -- where we have many sweat glands. Unsurprisingly, it also depends on how warm it is in the room and how active you are.

According to that study, if your home is 77°F, you could lose between 2-4 cups of water through your skin in 24 hours! A study from 2013 concluded something similar.

You'll lose less if it's cooler, and you'll lose more if you're exercising. And if you're spending your quarantine outside doing gardening or home improvement projects, you're definitely going to need to bring that water bottle along.

The amount of water we need everyday varies a lot. We lose water from sweating, breathing, and going to the bathroom. We may need more water if we eat more salt, if we have a health condition, or if under extreme stress. One research team suggests a minimum of 7.5 cups a day based on how your brain controls fluid balance in your body.

An easy calculation you can use to make sure you get enough is 1 tablespoon for every pound of body weight. So if you weight 150 pounds, 150 tablespoons is about 11 cups of water. Keep in mind that we do get some water from our food. So that 8-glasses-per-day thing might not be so far from the truth!

 

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