How Much Water Should You Drink per Day?
Keeping hydrated is key to ensuring that our body is properly functioning and regulating itself. Several factors influence how much water you should drink per day, such as gender, activity levels, diet, existing medical conditions, and location. On average, women need 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of water each day, and men need 15.5 cups (3.7 liters). Below we go into more detail on calculating how much water you should drink per day based on your weight.
Not consuming enough water per day can lead to a wide variety of health conditions. If you do not have health insurance, it can be difficult to access medical care for conditions revolving around dehydration. With Mira, you can receive access to urgent care visits, lab testings, and up to 80% off on over 1000 unique prescriptions for just $45 per month.
Calculating How Much Water You Should Drink per Day
The amount of water you should consume each day varies greatly from person to person due to several factors, such as your gender, activity levels, and environment, which can impact your body’s need for water. To better understand how much water you should consume each day, use this formula below:
- Know your weight— this number will be your starting value when determining how much water you should consume each day; this is because the amount of water you should drink each day will vary with weight. Logically, this makes sense because the more an individual weighs, the more water they will need.
- Multiply your weight by ⅔. After establishing your weight, you should multiply that number by ⅔ to determine how much water you should drink daily.
- Add 12 ounces of water to your total for every 30 minutes that you work out. Exercise and activity levels are essential to consider because when you sweat, you are expelling water. Thus, if you worked out for an hour, you should drink an additional 24 ounces of water.
This formula is very personalized, which is why it provides the most accurate measure of how much water you should drink each day. Thus, after using this formula, you should have a solid idea of your goal number of ounces of water you should drink each day.
Factors that Impact How Much Water You Should Drink in a Day
Below is a list of factors that impact how much water you should drink per day.
If you live in a hot, humid, or dry area, you will need to drink more water to combat the extra sweat that you may have. Additionally, if you live at a high altitude in the mountains, you will need to drink more water to keep yourself properly hydrated.
Caffeine beverages cause us to urinate more often, prompting us to lose more water than usual. Thus, it is essential to remember to continue drinking water if you are drinking lots of caffeine. If your diet is high in salt or sugar content, additional water may be needed as well.
Individuals who work out, especially if they do so frequently, will need to drink more water to balance out the water that is lost as sweat. Additionally, if you have a job that requires you to be on your feed or walking a lot during the day, you will naturally need more water.
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If you have pre-existing health conditions such as diabetes, you will need more water to keep glucose levels in check. If you have a condition that requires you to take a diuretic medication requires, you will also need to drink more water because diuretics make you lose water. Other health conditions such as infections, fevers, and having diarrhea will require you o drink more water.
If individuals tend to be in the sun or warmer temperatures, they may feel thirstier faster. Because of this, you may need to drink additional water to offset this feeling.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you will need to consume extra water to provide hydration for both you and your baby.
Daily Water Consumption Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
To better understand the health benefits of water and how to detect if you are drinking enough water, check out some of these commonly asked questions and answers below.
What are the benefits of drinking enough water daily?
Our bodies are made up of 60% water. Thus, water plays a significant role in controlling how our bodies work. There are several benefits of drinking enough water; however, the main ones include:
- Improves digestion
- Helps prevent constipation
- Regulates body temperature
- It carries oxygen and other nutrients to our cells
- Maintains healthy joints and joint function
- Supports healthy skin
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How can I tell if I am drinking enough water?
The easiest way to confirm whether or not you are drinking enough water is to check the color of your urine. If you are properly hydrated, your urine will be a pale yellow or clear color. However, if you are not drinking enough water, it may look like a darker shade of yellow.
Another way to confirm that you are drinking enough water is via your bowel movements. Individuals consuming enough water tend to have softer bowel movements, whereas those who need to drink more water may be constipated or have more challenging bowel movements.
Can I get water by consuming other beverages and foods?
The overall best (and most affordable) way to properly hydrate yourself is by drinking water itself. However, our bodies can gain water via drinking beverages such as juice, milk, and smoothies.
There used to be a belief that you can gain water through drinking caffeine since they are diuretics. Recent studies have shown this not to be accurate, though, which is why it is often best only to count the volume of water alone you have drank towards your daily goal.
Can I drink too much water in a day?
Drinking too much water is very rarely an issue for individuals. However, some may try to prevent dehydration and drink a very excessive amount of water.
Also known as hyponatremia, your kidneys cannot rid your body of excess water, causing the sodium levels within your blood to become very diluted in return and can pose potential life-threatening dangers.
Staying hydrated is critical in maintaining our bodies’ overall health and wellness. It can be confusing to know if we are drinking enough water and how much we should drink due to many factors that impact our bodies’ water retention and consumption. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is the formula mentioned above when determining how much water we should drink in a day.
If you fear you are suffering from severe medical conditions because of dehydration, seeing a doctor right away may be best to ensure the upkeep of all other parts of your body. With Mira, you can receive access to urgent care visits, lab testings, and up to 80% off prescriptions for just $45 per month. Sign up today.
Madeline is a Senior at UCLA majoring in Human Biology & Society with a minor in Spanish. She's currently a Healthcare Research Analyst at Mira, writing content for the blog to help the public better understand certain medical issues, technologies, testings, and the importance of healthcare.