How Much Water Should You Drink a Day? Here’s What You Need to Know

A young brunette woman sitting on the sofa smiling before taking a sip of water out of the glass cup in her hand.

Did you know that our bodies are 60% water? This vital liquid is essential to our existence.

Without water, the human body cannot survive, which is why it is so important to consume enough of it daily, but the real question is, how much water should you drink a day?

While there are various hydration calculators and random recommendations across the board, it can be hard to determine precisely how much water you should drink.

We’ve long been told that eight eight-ounce glasses a day will suffice, but that may not be true for everyone, considering everyone’s unique lifestyle and health status.

When looking at the amount of water you should drink, there are various factors to consider.

It is important to understand precisely how much water you should drink to avoid adverse health effects like dehydration.

Let’s dive deeper into the age-old question, “how much water should you drink a day?”

Seriously Though, How Much Water Should You Drink a Day?

The short answer is that it depends.

Our bodies continually lose water throughout the day, especially when we are physically active.

The predominant ways we lose water are through sweat or urine, but our entire body utilizes water in various ways. In fact, most body functions require water for optimal results.

While many health experts recommend following the 8×8 rule mentioned above, others advise drinking half of your bodyweight in ounces, so exactly how much water should we drink?

We recommend following the advice of The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, which provides the following advice on water consumption by gender:

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

It is important to note that these numbers reflect total water consumption, including all water found in other beverages such as tea, coffee and juice.

It is a good rule of thumb to remember that about 20% of our total water consumption comes from food. The other 80% should come from directly drinking water.

Other Factors in Water Consumption Amounts

The ounce recommendations we provided should be considered a baseline for water consumption. Various factors may influence your overall water consumption.

You may increase or decrease your water consumption based on

  • Activity level
  • The temperature or season
  • Your overall health
  • Your environment
  • Current medications or treatments
  • Whether you’re pregnant or breastfeeding

Many factors influence your water consumption. Be sure to speak with your doctor directly to determine exactly how much water is right for you.

The Link Between Water and Health

Aside from keeping our bodies hydrated, water has many other direct health benefits, including

  • Increased physical performance
  • Stronger brain function
  • Elevated energy levels
  • Waste regulation
  • Decrease in urinary tract infections
  • A lower risk of kidney stones
  • More supple skin

Adverse Effects of Too Little Water Consumption

Because so much of your body is made of water, when your hydration levels decrease below recommended levels, it can cause a variety of health issues and corresponding symptoms, associated with dehydration, including

  • Irregular bowel movements
  • Constipation
  • Dull skin
  • Fatigue
  • Dry mouth
  • Persistent headaches
  • Weight gain

Mild dehydration can quickly turn into a more serious problem if left untreated. It is important to remember that thirst is the first sign that your body needs more water.

Always listen to your body and lower your risk of dehydration by

  • Ensuring your urine is pale yellow or clear
  • Drinking enough water to accommodate for increased physical activity or hot temperatures
  • Consuming enough water regularly to avoid feeling thirsty

Effective Dehydration Treatment When You Need It Most

If you or a loved one are feeling dehydrated, you should seek medical care for further evaluation and treatment.

Our compassionate and experienced team at Getwell Urgent Care is here to help with your hydration-related health conditions seven days a week. There is no need for an appointment; simply walk in to get the care you need today.