How Much Water Should I Drink Each Day?

There’s an unlimited amount of sources for health and nutrition information and each source has a different magic number for how many cups, ounces, liters, or even milliliters of water it is necessary to consume. There are warnings about drinking not enough water and then there are warnings about drinking too much water, so who do I listen to and how much water should I drink?

How Much Water Should I Drink Per Day? – Recommended Water Intake

Since the Recommended Daily Intake has been deemed sufficient to meet the requirements of 97-98% of the population of the United States, I will use that as my source. According to the RDI, water intake should be equivalent to 3.7L/day for men (15.5 cups) and 2.7L/day (11 cups) for women. This daily water recommendation also changes depending on certain factors such as pregnancy, breastfeeding, physical activity, depending on the foods you eat, the temperature and humidity, altitude, sickness, and for other various reasons.

I’ve Been Told That Eight 8oz Glasses of Water is How Much Water to Drink

There’s the well-known idea that we just need to drink eight 8oz glasses of water per day to meet the recommendation. That’s close but not completely true. The Institute of Medicine came up with an adequate intake (AI) amount which is about 3 Liters (13 cups) of beverage for men and 2.2 Liters (9 cups) for women. So if you only consume eight cups of water each day you aren’t even drinking the AI of how much water per day. If you like this rule of thumb because it’s easy to remember, then make sure to think, “I need AT LEAST eight 8oz glasses of water each day.”

If I Exercise How Much Water Should I Drink Daily?

Earlier I said that if you exercise the amount of water you need each day changes. So how much water should a person drink to replenish the amount of water lost in sweat and urine? The most accurate way to know how much water you need to drink after exercise is by weighing yourself before and after exercise. For every pound lost during exercise you should consume 20oz (2.5 cups) of water to properly hydrate yourself. So, say before exercise you weigh 150lbs and then after your workout you weigh 148lbs. That means you lost two pounds, and every pound lost requires you to consume an extra 20oz (2.5 cups) of water to stay hydrated. That means that you would need to drink 40oz (5 cups) of water on top of your RDI to stay hydrated. If you are male, that would put you at 20.5 cups and females at 16 cups of water per day.

Am I Hydrated Field Test

An easy way to know if you are drinking enough water is through your urine. If you are properly hydrated you should have large amounts of clear odorless urine. If you don’t, drink more water!

Tips on How to Drink More Water

Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink water! As Americans I think that we make ourselves so busy that we fail to listen to our bodies. When you are thirsty, you have already lost 2 cups of water and are becoming dehydrated! Also, carry a water bottle around with you because if you have water with you, you will be more likely to drink it than if you have to go get water from another source. Keep your water cool because warm water is less appetizing than cool water. And if you are struggling with substituting water for other beverages such as soda, try using your soda cup and filling it with water instead. Obviously everybody has different techniques that work for them, but once you find yours you should no longer have to ask yourself, “How much water should I drink each day?”


Just trying to stay fit while being a wife and mother.

About Randi

Just trying to stay fit while being a wife and mother.

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