How Much Water Should You Drink Per Day

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According to experts, here's how much water you should drink each day. 

According to experts, here's how much water you should drink each day.

Water makes up up to 60% of the average adult human body, making proper hydration essential for proper function. But, on a daily basis, how much water do you really require?

For years, we've been told that we should drink at least eight glasses of water per day, but that advice isn't accurate for everyone. Continue reading to learn how to calculate how much water you should drink per day and the benefits of staying hydrated.

How Much Water Should I Drink in a Day?

Hydration is crucial, and dehydration, which occurs when your body loses more water than it takes in, can have a variety of negative consequences. So, how much water should you consume each day? The National Academies' Institute of Medicine recommends that adult women drink 2.7 liters (91 ounces or 11 cups) of water per day, while men should drink 3.7 liters (125 ounces or 15 cups).

It's important to note that this calculation takes into account total daily fluid rather than just water. "Around 20% of daily fluid intake can come from foods," says Wendy Bazilian, a registered doctor of public health and nutritionist and author of the Eat Clean, Stay Lean series. "Think primarily of water-rich vegetables and fruits, but also of other water-rich foods and types of meals," she says. "Tea, coffee, milk, and other beverages are also included."

If you want a more personalized recommendation on how much water you should drink per day in ounces, Bazilian suggests multiplying your weight by your fluid needs. She suggests aiming for half an ounce per pound of body weight. "To put it another way, divide your weight in half and aim to drink that many ounces of water every day from a variety of sources." If you weigh 150 pounds, for example, drink 75 ounces of water per day, which is about nine cups.

How Much Water Should Children Drink on a Daily Basis?

The chart below from the National Academies' Institute of Medicine also shows how much water your child should drink per day based on their age and gender.


  • Males aged 7 to 13 and females aged 10 to 13
  • 9 Males aged 14 to 18 Females aged 14 to
  • 18 Males aged 14 to 18 Females aged 14 to 18 Males 10

Why Is There a Daily Water Amount Recommendation?

"It's critical to replace water throughout the day because the body uses and loses it on a daily basis," says Sherri Hoyt, a registered dietitian nutritionist and outpatient nutrition Missouri Baptist Medical Center in St. Louis, Missouri. "Water is lost as a result of normal bodily functions like urination, bowel movements, sweating, and even breathing. Instead of hydrating all at once or playing catch-up at the end of the day, aim to hydrate regularly throughout the day."

Drinking Water Throughout the Day Has Many Advantages

Make sure you're getting as close to the daily water intake recommendations as possible to ensure you're giving your body the proper amount of hydration. Read on to learn about ten important advantages of drinking enough water.

Cardiovascular Health

Although cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, studies show that staying hydrated can reduce the risk of heart failure. This is due to the fact that if you don't drink enough water, your serum sodium levels rise, causing the body to try to conserve water—a process that has been linked to heart failure.

Health of the Mind

According to Bazilian, your brain contains about 73 percent water, which is higher than the rest of your body, and it requires lubrication to fire off all those hormones and neurotransmitters. According to a study published in the journal Nutrients, "mild dehydration may interfere with brain activity and break down the ability to focus."

Kidney Function

Your kidneys may be small, but they're vital because they remove waste and excess fluid from your body, allowing you to maintain a healthy water, salt, and mineral balance. "Water aids the kidneys in removing waste from the blood and may help prevent kidney stones from forming," says Hoyt.

Health of the Joints

Because many seniors have serious mobility issues, it becomes increasingly important to keep our joints in good health as we age. "Because joint cartilage is made up of 80% water, staying hydrated can help cushion and lubricate joints," Hoyt explains.

Maintaining a Healthy Weight

According to Bazilian, a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that simply drinking enough water can boost your metabolism by up to 30%. This type of increase was seen in the small study after participants drank roughly 19 ounces of water, which is far less than the recommended daily amount.

Levels of Energy

Do you have a sluggish feeling? When we're dehydrated, the flow of nutrients into our cells is hampered, and waste is clogged, according to Bazilian. According to the Nutrition Review[5], this may cause fatigue to set in quickly.

Maintaining the right temperature

Water is also necessary for maintaining body temperature. Your bloodstream is better able to maintain a state of homeostasis in your body and keep your temperature at a constant 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit when there is enough fluid traveling through it. Bazilian explains, "We are a body made up of fat, muscle, and other components." "Fever is the result of a rise in our body temperature. Maintaining a high body temperature for an extended period of time can alter the tissue composition of the body."

Maintenance of Mood

According to research published in the Journal of Nutrition[6,] even the tiniest drop below optimal hydration can make a person grumpy and irritable, as many of us can attest. "A one to two percent water deficit—barely enough to make you thirsty—put the women in the study in a bad mood, and they were more likely to have headaches and fatigue," Bazilian says.

System of the Immune

No one wants to catch every virus that goes around, so raise your glass to help your immune system. According to Bazilian, "a healthy immune system may be dependent on your body staying adequately hydrated." "Failure to get enough fluids into your body on a regular basis may weaken your immune system and make it more difficult to fight off illnesses."

When You Don't Drink Enough Water, What Happens?

According to Hoyt, failing to get enough water on a daily basis can be harmful to almost every aspect of your health, while severe dehydration is a medical emergency that requires immediate attention. "Dizziness or lightheadedness are possible side effects. Blood volume and blood pressure drop when people don't drink enough water, preventing the brain from receiving enough oxygen."

What Are Some Ways to Tell If You're Drinking Enough Water?

Examining your urine is the best way to determine whether you're getting enough fluid. "You're probably getting enough hydration if your urine is pale yellow like lemonade." "However, darker urine, like apple cider, can indicate that you need to drink more water," Hoyt says.

Is It Possible to Drink Too Much Water?

While it is possible to consume too much water, this is a rare occurrence. "This isn't something that the average person is concerned about," Hoyt says. "We see this most often in marathon runners or those who participate in endurance sports." It's critical for these individuals to avoid over-hydrating with water when exercising for long periods of time and losing electrolytes through sweat."

When you drink too much water at once, your sodium levels in your body become diluted, a condition known as hyponatremia. It's not a matter of drinking a certain amount of water to cause hyponatremia; it's a matter of taking in more water than your kidneys can process in a certain amount of time. In the most severe cases, this imbalance can cause cerebral edema (brain swelling), while in milder cases, it can cause confusion, nausea, and headache. Hoyt advises drinking less than one liter of water in an hour to avoid hyponatremia.

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