Seriously... How Much Water Should You Drink Every Day?

Seriously… How Much Water Should You Drink Every Day?

What is great about water is how much it helps you when it comes to losing weight and curbing your appetite. It’s true. But is there such a thing as drinking too much water? Actually, most people don’t drink enough water.

ok , so seriously, how much water should you drink in a day?

Stupidly simple question right? How could this be complicated?

Well – there are a lot of very simple, definitive answers for how much water you should drink in a day. And like most easy, simple answers – they’re wrong.

The truth is, the right amount of water for you in a day depends on you – who you are, how old you are, what you do, etc.

So let’s answer those questions, so that you can know how much water you should drink in a day, rather than reading “Get 8-12 glasses a day!” and throwing your computer against the wall in frustration.

Why Do I Need Water In The First Place?

We’re gonna start real simple here. Bear with me.

Your body is more than 60% water by weight, and literally every single part of it depends on water to function (1).

(Plus, did you know that you can lose weight with water?)

Your body needs water to flush out toxins from your liver, bring vital nutrients to your cells, and keep your ears, nose, and throat humming along smoothly.

Without water, none of that happens, and you die. You knew this already.

Water is good. But how much?


How Much Water Should I Drink Per Day?

Well, think about it this way. Every time you breathe out, your body is losing water. Every time you sweat, your body is losing water. Every time you use the bathroom, your body is losing water (2). You’ve gotta replace all that lost water, or it’s bad news for you and your body. But how much? Well, the Institute of Medicine released an average amount of water needed per day for men and women. Men should get about 3 liters of beverage per day, while women need about 2.2 liters (3).

how much water should I drink per day

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But What About The 8 Glasses A Day Thing?

Turns out, it’s pretty much the same. 8 (8 oz) glasses of water per day comes out to 1.9 liters.

However, there’s something super important to remember.

What you drink doesn’t have to be water.

The Institute of Medicine recommendations and the 8 glasses a day recommendations are for total liquid intake, not just water.

So if you’re drinking fruit juice, or seltzer, or other hydrating drinks, that counts. (Even protein packed smoothies!)

If you’re drinking beer, or soda, or something that’s not going to hydrate you so well – it doesn’t count.

But How Much Water Do I Need?

Good question!

Your intake depends on you, and on some factors about your lifestyle. Let’s take a look!

  • Illness

    If you’re sick and have a fever, or you’re throwing up, you gotta drink more fluids, because your body is losing more fluids.

    Other conditions that require more fluid intake are urinary tract stones and bladder infections.

However, if you have a condition like heart failure or kidney or liver disease, your body actually has trouble getting rid of water, and you have to drink less.


  • Environment

    This is going to sound really, super obvious, but if you’re in a hot, humid environment and you’re sweating a lot, you’re going to need more water.

    Shocking, I know.

    Also, if you’re at a high altitude – above 8,000 feet – you’ll need more fluid intake.


  • Exercise

    We’re really covering the advanced stuff now!

    If you’re exercising, you’re probably sweating. If you’re sweating, you gotta get that fluid back!

    If you’re exercising intensely for more than an hour, you need lots of fluid! Plus, you’re going to need to drink something that has sodium in it, to replace the sodium lost to sweat.


  • Pregnancy

    If you’re pregnant or breast feeding, you need more fluid to keep yourself hydrated.

    Pregnant women should drink at least 2.3 liters per day, and breast feeding women should drink at least 3.1 liters per day.


    But What If I’m Sick Of Drinking Water?

    Good news! There’s other ways to stay hydrated!

    You can get your fluid needs from foodstuff. Shocking but true!

    Try eating fruits and vegetables like watermelon and spinach – they’re more than 90% water by weight and will help keep you hydrated.

    But if you’re jonesing for that liquid hydration (and who isn’t), stick with milk and juice if you’re not drinking water. You could drink coffee, tea, or soda, or alcoholic beverages, but they don’t really do a good job hydrating you.

    How Do I Know If I’m Hydrated?

    Are you super thirsty? No? Congratulations, you’re probably pretty hydrated!

    Also, if your urine is clear or light yellow, you’re doing well. If you’re still worried about how much fluid you’re getting per day and whether you’re staying hydrated, talk to your doctor and ask them what’s right for you.

    30 comments… add one
    • Mary Bailey November 6, 2015, 9:51 am

      My day starts and ends with actual water. All of the liquids that I take in after that are from fruits and veggies.

    • Elizabeth Albert November 5, 2015, 9:00 am

      When it comes to being hydrated and knowing if you are, checking out the clarity of your urine is the best test.

    • Kimberly Bush November 4, 2015, 2:41 pm

      This question is age old. Everyone has a different answer and are any of them really wrong?

      • Selena Winter November 6, 2015, 10:02 am

        Not really. Just get water into your system during the day and you will be better off than someone that does not get any water into their system.

    • Lauren Bridge November 1, 2015, 5:58 pm

      I just drink enough water all day until I get sick of it. That is ALWAYS more than 8 cups so I feel I am in pretty good shape.

    • Tara Alvarez November 1, 2015, 5:48 pm

      I know people that barely drink water at all throughout the day. What is happening on the inside of their body?

      • Rachel Shive November 4, 2015, 2:56 pm

        Whatever it is, it cannot be good!

    • Veronica Miller November 1, 2015, 5:37 pm

      Getting enough water has helped me to clear up my skin and make me feel great all throughout the day.

    • Lisa Hambright October 31, 2015, 9:22 am

      I have been trying to get back into a healthy eating habits. Drinking enough water was a great way to get started. Now I am moving into smaller, healthier meals and things are getting to be great!

    • Jennifer York October 31, 2015, 8:57 am

      Getting water into your system is quite easy once you realize how many foods and other drinks you can down to get the same impact as drinking straight water.

    • Phyllis Heard October 30, 2015, 3:15 pm

      At least this isn’t one of those things that changes every year. Like wine is good for you, or wait, now it is not good for you, etc.

      • Inez Flatt October 31, 2015, 9:10 am

        LOL, no kidding. If you read the media, you will never really know what is good for you since it is more confusing than helpful.

    • Tiffany Simmons October 30, 2015, 3:06 pm

      Great health tips! Water is important and just like everyone else here, it should be swallowed as much as you can throughout the day.

    • Jessie Santillan October 29, 2015, 9:24 am

      Keeping up on your water intake each day can be a task in itself, but once you get it figured out, it becomes routine.

    • Angeline Norton October 24, 2015, 9:18 am

      Water is important. I usually start the day off very well with my water consumption. However, but the end of the day, I will have drank less than the morning hours.

      • Gloria Kearns November 5, 2015, 9:11 am

        I have been doing this for about a month now and I cannot believe how different my body feels!

    • Vicki Vanguilder October 24, 2015, 9:05 am

      It amazes me when I see a person that refuses to drink water. They do not like the taste so that is it. All they drink is soda and that is not good for anyone.

    • Margaret Harvey October 23, 2015, 10:41 am

      Great tips! Staying healthy starts with water and I think you provided plenty of tips.

      • Colleen Walck October 29, 2015, 9:35 am

        Yes it does. Gets all of those organs acting the way they should after a good nights rest.

    • Eleanor Godbold October 22, 2015, 2:35 pm

      This post makes some great points about water. It is very important and when it comes to being healthy, that is the best place to start!

    • Ruby Stearn October 21, 2015, 10:56 pm

      8 glasses is a lot of water to drink in one day. However, you need it and there is nothing you can do about it for now.

      • Tamara Williams November 7, 2015, 9:51 am

        8 glasses is not that much. You can easily drink double that, or most people should be able to, without feeling sick of water.

    • Martha Stern October 21, 2015, 10:41 pm

      At least start your day with a glass of water to replenish fluids you might have lost over night. That way your body can get a jump start on digestion.

      • Kim Donalson October 23, 2015, 10:52 am

        This is what I do. A tall glass of water with lemon and I feel great and ready to start my day.

    • Joy Merritt October 20, 2015, 2:35 pm

      When I am working out, I tend to drink much more afterwards and that gives me a larger than 8 glass total. I just figure I need it because I just sweat my ass off for an hour!

    • Merrie Hiers October 20, 2015, 2:11 pm

      I always heard that 8 glasses of water per day was a good standard. I have tried to drink more than that and it just seems counter-productive to me.

    • Joy Clark October 16, 2015, 9:21 am

      I was thinking the same thing as I read, “What if I am sick of water”. You make some good points that you just have to switch to foods that have higher water concentrations.

      • Karen Coleman October 22, 2015, 2:45 pm

        There are many ways to get water into your system, but drinking it is the fastest and more efficient.

    • Madeline Graziani October 16, 2015, 9:08 am

      At least 8 cups right? And just like with everything else, i would assume that it differs for each person.

      • Monique Whitten November 7, 2015, 10:00 am

        I think this is the minimum, isn’t it?

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