How Much Water Should You Drink Each Day?

How much water should you drink every day?

Your body depends on water to survive. In fact, water makes up about 60% of your body’s total weight. Water is needed for every single body function. Water flushes toxins from your organs, carries nutrients to your cells, cushions your joints, and helps you digest the food you eat. Not enough water can cause dehydration. Severe cases of dehydration can cause dizziness, confusion, and even seizures. Even mild dehydration can make you feel drained of energy and tired.

Every day water is lost thru your breath, sweat, urine, and bowel movements. How much water you need varies and where you live and your activity level are just two factors. Most of us have heard that if we drink 8 glasses a day of water we should be fine. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) says men should drink a total of 13 cups (about 3 liters) of fluid each day. They say that women should drink  9 cups (a little over 2 liters) of fluid each day. Pregnant women should drink about 10 cups of water daily and women who breastfeed need about 12 cups of water a day. Most healthy people can stay hydrated by drinking water and other fluids when they feel thirsty. For some people, less fluid is needed than the above water intake and for others, more might be needed.

You may need to adjust your fluid intake based on exercise, environment, overall health, and being pregnant or breastfeeding.

  • Exercise. If you do any activity that makes you sweat, you need to drink extra water to cover the fluid loss. It’s important to drink water before, during and after a workout. If exercise is intense and lasts more than an hour, a sports drink can replace minerals in your blood (electrolytes) lost through sweat.
  • Environment. Hot or humid weather can make you sweat and requires additional fluid intake. Dehydration also can occur at high altitudes.
  • Overall health. Your body loses fluids when you have a fever, vomiting or diarrhea. Drink more water or follow a doctor’s recommendation to drink oral rehydration solutions. Other conditions that might require increased fluid intake include bladder infections and urinary tract stones.
  • Pregnancy or breast-feeding. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding need additional fluids to stay hydrated. The Office on Women’s Health recommends that pregnant women drink about 10 cups (2.4 liters) of fluids daily and women who breast-feed consume about 13 cups (3.1 liters) of fluids a day.  (https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/water/art-20044256)

If you are concerned on making sure you consume enough water each day, if you rarely feel thirsty and if your pee is either clear or light yellow you are probably getting enough water.


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