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How Much Water Should You Really Be Drinking?

How Much Water Should You Really Be Drinking?

Everyone understands the importance of keeping their body hydrated. Most people struggle to know just how much water they should consume for optimum health. There have been a number of studies that have come up with different conclusions. One thing most researchers agree, a number of factors determine a person’s required water intake.

Average Water Requirements

People lose water through perspiration, breath, bodily waste disposal and more. In order for a person’s body to work properly, the water that is lost must be replaced. It’s possible to accomplish this by consuming foods and liquids that contain water. The Institute of Medicine recommends a healthy intake of water for men is approximately12 cups of water daily. The estimated needs of females are around 8 cups of water daily.


When individuals participate in activities that make them sweat, they will have to drink additional fluids to compensate for the loss. Two and a half cups of liquid should be sufficient to replace water loss from a short duration of exercises. When a person engages in an intense exercise for over an hour, they will need over 800 milliliters of water to regain proper hydration.


When people spend time in hot or humid weather conditions, they will sweat. Should a person be inside during cold weather, the heated air can cause their skin to lose moisture. When a person spends time at altitudes of more than 8,100 feet, they will experience an increase in breathing and need to urinate. Additional water must be consumed to compensate for the fluid loss in different environments.

Issues of Health Or Illnesses

When a person has a fever, vomiting or another type of sickness, their body could lose significant amounts of fluid. In some situations, a physician may recommend a person consume oral rehydration solutions. This could be CeraLyte, Gatorade, and others. Should a person have other health conditions such as a bladder infection or gallbladder stones, they will have to increase their water consumption. Other types of health conditions such as adrenal diseases, liver or kidney disease make it necessary for a person to decrease their water intake.

Pregnant Or Breastfeeding

Water beyond the average is needed by any woman who is pregnant or breastfeeding to remain hydrated. This is especially true for women who are nursing. According to the Institute of Medicine, a woman who is pregnant needs to drink approximately 9 cups of water a day. A woman who is breastfeeding needs to drink around 12 cups of water a day.


Drinking enough water every day can be part of a person’s routine. Many people find it easy to drink a glass of water or some type of low-calorie beverage with every meal. It’s also easy to develop a habit of drinking one or more glasses of water between meals. When a person exercises regularly, they should be in the habit of drinking water before and after they exercise.

Too Much Water

It is possible for a person to drink too much water. This occurs when a person drinks so much water, it causes an imbalance in the levels of salt in their body. Their kidneys aren’t able to excrete the excess water. This can result in the electrolyte content of a person’s blood becoming diluted. This is a condition known as dilutional hyponatremia. It is commonly referred to by physicians as water intoxication.

Sources Of Water In Food

A person can get a large portion of their daily fluid requirement by the foods they eat. It has been estimated that food can provide a person with over 19 percent of their recommended water intake. There are certain fruits and vegetables that are over 89 percent water by weight. This includes melons, lettuce and more.

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