As we all know, hydration is essential to your overall health. Our bodies are made up of about 60% water. Since we’re constantly losing water throughout the day, it’s extremely important to replenish it.
A lack of adequate water intake can negatively affect your energy levels and brain function throughout the day and put you at higher risk for health concerns like urinary or kidney problems, seizures, or low blood volume shock (hypovolemic shock).
When it comes to how much water you should be drinking in a day, many of you have probably heard the 8-8 rule of thumb (eight 8-ounce glasses a day).
However, many experts actually recommend you drink more than that.
According to The Institute of Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board, women should be drinking more than 11 8-ounce cups (91 ounces) of fluid daily, and men should be drinking more than 15 cups (125 ounces) of fluid per day.
That being said, these recommendations include fluids ranging beyond water. You can get fluid from other beverages and food as well. In fact, about 20% of daily fluid intake usually comes from food, while the rest comes from beverages.
For some people, eight 8-ounce glasses may be enough. There are several key factors that influence an individual’s water needs.
Your need for water most commonly increases in these scenarios:
- In warm or hot weather
- During vigorous activity or exercise
- During illness (especially illnesses involving fever, vomiting, diarrhea or coughing)
As a general rule, your fluid intake is most likely adequate if you rarely feel thirsty and if your urine is colorless or light yellow.
However, it’s usually not a bad thing to add more water to your diet. Most Americans don’t need to worry about over-hydrating. For healthy adults who eat an average American diet, drinking too much water is rare.
“Safe Drinking Water: Tap Water, Bottled Water, & Water Filters.” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/women/safe-drinking-water#1.
“Water: How Much Should You Drink Every Day?” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 6 Sept. 2017, www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/water/art-20044256.