How Much Water Should I Drink a Day?

A great question we were asked is “How much water should I drink a day?”

The answer, although it may surprise you, is that you should drink eight glasses of water every day, meaning your body needs 64 ounces of water a day. For some people that’s a lot of water. Yet, doctors seem to agree that everyone needs to drink 8 eight-ounce glasses of water each and every day. If you understand why you need so much water and the benefits of drinking water, it seems to go down easier.

Background Info

Glasses of Water

Why Does A Body Need Water? – The Benefits of Drinking Water

Since 60% of our body weight is water and you constantly lose water through perspiration and urination, among other ways including just breathing, the body must constantly be replenished to stay in balance. Every system in the body depends on water. Water flushes toxins from our vital organs, carries nutrients to our cells and provides a moist environment for the ear, nose and throat tissues. One of the major benefits of drinking water, each and every day, is that it will steer you clear of dehydration.

How to Tell if You Are Dehydrated – Urine Color

A lack of water replenishment provides a risk of dehydration, which can be a very serious condition. The first sign of dehydration is a dry mouth and having a thirst, next you will notice a darker urine color when you use the bathroom or be unable to urinate at all. Urine becomes darker the more you get dehydrated because urine has a high concentration of toxins and chemicals, so when you are dehydrated there is less water to dilute the color. If your urine is dark yellow, amber or brownish colored it can be a sign of serious dehydration, see a helpful chart here. If you are drinking enough water your urine should be clear to a very light yellow in color. So if you are ever wondering how much water should you drink in a day, think 8 cups!

Part of the Problem

Can you Drink too Much Water?

Yes, you can drink too much water. However, if you are asking yourself how much water should I drink a day because you are afraid of drinking too much, then you probably have little to worry about if you are not forcing it down. Drinking more water than necessary can be dangerous to your health because it increases the total blood volume in your closed circulatory system. This increase in volume can put unnecessary strains on your blood vessels and heart, causing them to work harder. However, in everyday life, very few people ever suffer from drinking too many cups of water. When somebody does suffer damage from drinking too much water it is usually because of individuals who attempt to drink an insane amount of water, such as college kids in fraternity initiations where individuals are forced to drink gallons of water.

Adjustments to How Much Water Should You Drink a Day

Although eight eight ounce glasses of water per day is the recommended intake of water, that’s a recommendation and sometimes we need more: – Water intake should be adjusted for activity level and men generally require more water than women. – Adjustments should also be made for climate, more water is needed in a hotter dryer climate. – Your health status also affects how much water is needed – if you have fever, vomiting or diarrhea you are loosing more water and therefore need to drink more. – Also if you are drinking for two, as in pregnant or breast feeding, you need more than the basic 8 glasses of water. – Drinking Gatorade is a good way to replenish your fluids. Another good source of water with a little more substance is Jello.

Additional Info

All fluids count for water intake

Remember that foods are about 20% liquid, especially if you consume fruits and vegetables like you should, so the answer to how much water you should drink a day might depend on how much you have eaten. Other liquids count too, but water is really best because it is calorie free, inexpensive and readily available. Some people drink water bottles, some people use the tap, some use a filtered container system, some have a spout in the fridge, some have large containers of bottled water delivered, but it is all the same – water! It doesn’t matter so much how you get it, just that you do get it each and every day and remember that 8 cups is the answer to how much water should I drink a day.

To find out how long other foods are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or use the search function below.

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