How Much Water Should I Drink?
Welcome back to our “Q&A Tuesday” series, where each week we take a question that we get asked all the time and share our expertise. This week we are answering a common question and clearing up the confusion surrounding, “How Much Water Should I Drink?”
Before we define what you should be shooting for on a daily basis, let’s quickly go over why water is so dang important to your health. Not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration and chronic dehydration can lead to more serious health issues such as kidney stones…OUCH! Check out this nifty chart to see the benefits of H20.
So how much should I be drinking? The most common recommendation that is often thrown around is the 8-cup guideline, which equates to 64 ounces of water per day. However, according to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences….
…the average male adult should consume roughly 125 ounces of water (from fluid and non-fluid sources) per day
…the average female adult should consume roughly 91 ounces of water (from fluid and non-fluid sources) per day
While this may seem like a lot, take into consideration that 20% of your daily water recommendation can come from non-fluid sources such as fruits and vegetables. Water can also come from other sources such as: coffee, tea, dairy and non-dairy beverages, fruit juice, coconut water, etc.
A good rule of thumb is to aim for a minimum of 20 ounces of plain water per day if you are getting enough water from other fluid and non-fluid sources. If you don’t, aim for at least 64 ounces of plain water per day. However, the closer you work up to a minimum of 64 ounces per day of plain water, the better.
Can I drink too much? Yes you can. In fact, drinking too much water can even cause hyponatremia or in extreme cases, death. Water intoxication can be caused by drinking too much water in a short amount of time, which is generally defined as more than 33 ounces of water an hour, consistently. While these cases are rare, it’s certainly something to be mindful of if you’re playing catch up with your water consumption.
Every body is different. While we’ve gone over the key recommendations for the average person, keep in mind that every body is different and can require different needs. If you live in a hot climate, work outside, are an athlete or exercise regularly, you may need more water.
Another key consideration is to base your water consumption on how you feel. If you’re feeling more tired than usual, getting headaches or muscle cramps, it can be a good sign that you’re not consuming enough water.
Additionally, your urine is also a key giveaway. If your urine is super light or on the lighter side, chances are you’re plenty hydrated. If it’s super dark or on the darker side, chances are you need to drink more water.
Something to be mindful of, if you take a multivitamin, or a B-vitamin supplement, it will turn your urine bright yellow/orange. Nothing to panic about, just be sure not to mistake it for dehydration 🙂
⇒ Do you have more questions about daily water recommendations? If so, drop us a line and let us know! And make sure to tune in next week as we will be answering our next question…
Written by Sophie DeHenzel
How Much Water Should I Drink?
Photos courtesy of (top to bottom): Girls Gone Strong, Bigstock (Serg64), Safety Systems & Solutions
Hi, I’m Sophie. I’m Co-Owner of DeHenzel Training Systems, Precision Nutrition Level 2 Certified, Certified Personal Trainer and Pre/Post Natal Specialist. I’m also a wife, mom, tennis beginner and ice cream lover.
Most importantly, I love helping people just like you gain control of their health for good. If you’re tired, frustrated and still struggling to rein in your diet and get moving, check out our nutrition and personal training services and take the first step today.
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