How much Water Should You Drink Per Day?

Your body which is about 60 percent of water constantly loses water throughout the day in the form of urine and sweat. Replenishing the body with plenty of water from drink and food is essential to prevent dehydration. Many factors (both internal and external) ultimately affect how much water you need to stay healthy such as your health, activity and environment. The general recommendation from the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine is about:

11.5 cups (2.7 liters) a day for women & 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) a day for men.

How much water you need is dependent on :

Where you live. 

You will need more water in hot, humid, or dry areas. You’ll also need more water if you live in the mountains or at a high altitude.

Your diet.

You will need to drink a lot of water if

1. You drink a lot of coffee or caffeinated beverages as it leads to extra urination.

2. Your diet is high in salty, spicy, or sugary foods

3. You don’t eat a lot of hydrating foods that are high in water like fresh or cooked fruits and vegetables.

The temperature or season.

 More water may be needed in warmer months than cooler ones due to perspiration.

Your environment.

Spending more time outdoors in the sun or hot temperatures or in a heated room, you might feel thirstier faster.

How active you are.

If you are active during the day or walk or stand a lot, you’ll need more water than someone who’s sitting at a desk. If you exercise or do any intense activity, you will need to drink more to cover water loss.

Your health.

If you have an infection or a fever, or if you lose fluids through vomiting or diarrhea, you will need to drink more water. If you have a health condition like diabetes you will also need more water. Some medications like diuretics can also make you lose water.

Does more water help prevent health problems?

Drinking enough water is required for your body to function in general. Several health problems may also respond well to increased water intake:

Constipation. Increasing water intake can help with constipation, a very common problem (12, 13).

Urinary tract infections. Recent studies have shown that increasing water consumption may help prevent recurring urinary tract and bladder infections (14Trusted Source, 15)

Kidney stones. An older study concluded that high fluid intake decreased the risk of kidney stones, though more research is needed (16Trusted Source).

Skin hydration. Studies show that more water leads to better skin hydration, though more research is needed on improved clarity and effects on acne (17Trusted Source, 18Trusted Source)

Indicators of hydration

Maintaining water balance is essential for the body to function normally. For this reason, your body has a sophisticated system for controlling when and how much you drink. When your total water content goes below a certain level, thirst kicks in.This is carefully balanced by mechanisms similar to breathing — you don’t need to consciously think about it.

Your body knows how to balance its water levels and when to signal you to drink more. Thirst is a reliable indicator of dehydration but relying on feeling thirsty may not be adequate for optimal health or exercise performance.

If you’re sweating a lot, make sure to replenish the lost fluid with water. You also need more water when you have a fever and when you’re vomiting or have diarrhea. If you desire to lose weight, consider upping your water intake too.

Furthermore, older people may need to consciously watch their water intake because the thirst mechanisms can start to malfunction with aging. Studies show that adults over 65 years old are at a higher risk for dehydration.

Most people don’t need to focus too much on their water intake, as the body has an automatic thirst signal. However, certain circumstances do call for increased attention to how much water you’re drinking.

The bottom line

At the end of the day, no one can tell you exactly how much water you need. This depends on many factors.

Try experimenting to see what works best for you. Some people may function better with more water than usual, while for others it only results in more frequent trips to the bathroom.

If you want to keep things simple, these guidelines should apply to the majority of people:

1.    Drink often enough throughout the day for clear, pale urine.

2.    When you’re thirsty, drink.

3.    During high heat and exercise and other mentioned indications, make sure to drink enough to compensate for the lost or extra needed fluids.


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