Water is the most important nutrient because it is involved in nearly every function of the human body. Water transports nutrients throughout the body, helps maintain normal body temperature and carries waste material out of the body, just to name a few. Common knowledge and folklore have put the requirement for daily water consumption from 64 ounces to 2 gallons of water daily. Both could be right based on a variety of factors. Variables such as; environment, sweating, body surface area, calorie intake, body size, and lean muscle tissue may lead to tremendous inter- and intra-individual variation. Everyone is different.
The basic goal of fluid intake is to avoid dehydration, that is, maintain fluid balance. The average fluid intake needed to offset fluid losses in sedentary adults may range from 1.5 (48 oz.) to 2.7 (68.5 oz.) quarts, per day, according to the NSCA Essentials of Personal Training. Most of us need more than this amount, based on the variable above.
Signs of dehydration include; dark yellow, strong smelling urine, decreased frequency of urination, rapid resting heart rate and prolonged muscle soreness.