Water Guide

How much water do I need?

Of course, the answer is “it depends“. It depends on weight, sex, humidity, altitude, level of activity, and fitness level. Here are resources that suggest different amounts for different reasons. In addition, here is a simple table of measures to help you understand some of the numbers.

Ounces Other Unit
8 oz 1 cup
16 oz 1 pint
32 oz 1 quart
64 oz 1/2 gallon
128 oz 1 gallon

I have summarized information from these articles on the Building Blocks : Water is the Fountain for Life page.

WebMD Source

Article : Water and Your Diet: Staying Slim and Regular With H2O

This article is interesting. It discusses how much all cellular processes need water and how the processes work more efficiently if you are well hydrated. This effectively means your metabolism. I think it’s also interesting that the author points out that if you are already well hydrated, then drinking more water will not help your weight loss. The article says that even being 1% dehydrated has a significant impact on your body functions. If you are not getting enough, then increasing water consumption will help. Also quoted is a study that found “people who drank water before meals ate on average of 75 fewer calories. 75 Calories X 365 days = 27,000 less calories”. That is for just one meal.

In general you should try to drink between 1/2 an ounce to 1 ounce per pound you weigh. You may need more if you are exercising a lot or live in a hot climate. You may need less if you are in a cold climate and more sedentary.

This means that a 150 pound person would need between 75 ounces to 150 ounces each day.


Mayo Clinic Source

Article : Water: How much should you drink every day?

The article states that your water needs depend on many factors, including your health, how active you are, and where you live. Water makes up 60% of your body weight. Every system in your body depends on water. For example, water flushea toxins, carries nutrients, and creates an moist environment for your ear, nose and throat. Lack of water can lead to dehydration, with even a mild case draining your energy and making you tired.

You loose water through your breath, perspiration, urine and bowl movements. You need to replenish water by consuming beverages and food that contain water.

Adequate Intake (AI) for men is roughly about 13 cups a day and the (AI) for women is about 9 cups per day. 

The article talks about drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water everyday and mentions this is an easy to remember amount but doesn’t feel that only water counts toward that total.

You may need to modify your fluid intake for the following factors :

  • Exercise
  • Intense exercise
  • Environment
  • Illness or health conditions
  • Pregnancy or Breastfeeding

You don’t need to rely only on on drinking water. On average, foods provide 20% of your fluid intake. Many fruits and vegetables are 90% or more water by weight. (Think watermelon or spinach). Other beverages also count, like milk and juice. They caution against counting too much beer, wine  and caffeinated beverages. The major portion of your water intake should be from water.

If you drink water when you are thirsty and your urine is colorless or light yellow you are probably drinking enough. If you are concerned please see a specialist.

Medical News Today Source

Article : How much water should I drink each day?

“There is no definitive answer for the amount of water one person or another should get in a day.” The article states that the best guidance is to follow your thirst. The “Fast Facts” are interesting and contain bullet points that are counter to most respected sources. For example, one bullet point is that eight 8-ounce glasses a day is not based on evidence. The last bullet in the list repeats the concept to “drink when thirsty.”  The article goes on to debunk the myths and then offers adequate intakes (AI). The information in the article is interesting and provides a counter-perspective you may want give a further read.

AI for men 19-30 years old 3.7 liters (about 130 ounces)
AI for women 19-30 years old  2.7 liters (about 95 ounces)

But wait, these are averages and may be skewed because some people have access to plenty of water and therefore drink more.


Harvard Health News Source

Article : How much water should you drink?

“The key to staying hydrated is drinking fluids throughout the day.”

The article talks about how it is important to stay hydrated everyday, not only when the temperatures rise. Some adults don’t sense thirst as well as they age.

The article explains that water has many important jobs :

  • carrying nutrients and oxygen to your cells
  • flushing bacteria from your bladder
  • aiding digestion
  • preventing constipation
  • normalizing blood pressure
  • stabilizing the heartbeat
  • cushioning joints
  • protecting organs and tissues
  • regulating body temperature
  • maintaining electrolyte (sodium) balance.

How do I know if I am not drinking enough water? low blood pressure, dizziness, confusion,or dark urine.

Most people need about four – six cups of water a day (32 – 48 ounces) for healthy people. 

If you have an illness or take prescription drugs, you should consult with your doctor.

During exercise, or on a hot day, you should drink about 2 – 3 cups per hour, and even more if you are sweating heavily.

All beverages containing water contribute to the total your body needs, even caffeinated and alcoholic ones, because the net contribution will be positive.

Harvard Health News Source

Article : How much water should you drink a day? Your throat will tell you

According to this article, you will be able to more readily swallow water if you are dehydrated and have a more difficult time if you are over-hydrated. This is a mechanism developed by evolution and we shouldn’t ignore it to make a goal.

If you are drinking water and it is easily going down your throat, you should continue.

If you are drinking water and it is difficult to swallow it, you should stop.

Seems like pretty simple and to the point advice!