June 07, 2024

How Much Water Should You Drink Everyday?

Man drinking water

Water Intake Guide

The human body is between 50% and 60% water. That fact emphasizes the importance of consuming enough water. How much is “enough” varies based on age, gender, activity level, environment, and other factors, so it’s important to learn about and practice proper hydration.

An excellent place to start is determining how many glasses of water a day you need to feel good and prevent the symptoms of dehydration. They can occur with a hydration deficit of as little as 2% and include fatigue, confusion, short-term memory loss, and mood changes like depression and irritability. Long-term dehydration can lead to medical conditions like kidney stones, gallstones, constipation, and urinary tract infections.

Water Intake by Age

How much water should you consume a day? That varies by age and, in adults, by gender and status.

Age: 1-3 years
Daily Adequate Intake: 4 cups, or 32 ounces

Age: 4-8 years
Daily Adequate Intake: 5 cups, or 40 ounces

Age: 9-13 years
Daily Adequate Intake: 7-8 cups, or 56-64 ounces

Age: 14-18 years
Daily Adequate Intake: 8-11 cups, or 64-88 ounces

Age: Men, 19 and older
Daily Adequate Intake: 13 cups, or 104 ounces

Age: Women, 19 and older
Daily Adequate Intake: 9 cups, or 72 ounces

Status: Pregnant women
Daily Adequate Intake: 10 cups, or 80 ounces

Status: Breastfeeding women
Daily Adequate Intake: 13 cups, or 104 ounces

When considering how many ounces of water a day meets your needs, remember that your activity level, environment, and other factors can affect how much you require.

What Is the Difference of Water Intake Between Men & Women

How many ounces of water should I drink a day? The answer differs for men and women for several reasons.

For example, a woman’s body is typically 50 to 55% water, while a man’s is 60%. Differences in essential body fat result in different water requirements. Other factors like body temperature, metabolic rate, and the impact of hormonal changes on digestive function also contribute to varying water needs between genders.

The Role of Thirst To Prevent Dehydration

Thirst is a helpful sensation that reminds you to drink water. However, it’s best to consume water at a rate that keeps you from getting thirsty.

That approach can protect you from becoming dehydrated because something distracts you from your thirst long enough for your body to have a water deficit. Thirst also becomes a less reliable prompt for drinking as we age, so sipping water throughout the day is ideal.

Benefits of Staying Hydrated

There are many advantages to asking, “How much water should I drink?” and then acting on the answer. Proper hydration provides the following benefits:

  • Effective removal of waste from the body through sweat, urine, etc.
  • Proper lubrication and cushioning for joints
  • Good body temperature control
  • Protection of sensitive body tissues
  • Good skin health
  • Weight management

Tips for Increasing Water Intake

There are several actions you can take if you want to increase your water intake, including:

  • Keep a water bottle with you throughout the day.
  • Add healthy flavoring to your water with lime, lemon, orange, or cucumber slices.
  • Order water when dining out and note how much you’re saving.
  • Eat water-rich foods like fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Take a gradual approach to eliminating unhealthy beverages like sugary sodas. Alternate between them and glasses of water before eliminating them from your diet.

Healthy Amount of Water Intake

How much water should you drink in a day? The table above provides helpful age-based rules of thumb. It’s also vital to listen to your body.

Staying hydrated is critical to your short- and long-term health, and it's easy to do. Just get into the habit of sipping water throughout your day!

Learn More.