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How Much Water Should I Drink Daily?

By Jane Harmon
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Health experts say that the average person should drink eight 8-ounce (236.6-mL) glasses of water daily. Exactly how much water you should drink each day can depend on how big you are, however. Some healthcare professionals recommend drinking half an ounce (14.8 mL) per 1 pound (0.45 kg) of body weight. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds (68 kg), you should drink 75 ounces (2.2 liters) of water daily. Other factors that can affect how much water you should drink daily include your physical activity level, the climate where you live, your diet and certain other health or medical factors.

Replenishing Fluids

If you are active in sports or the weather is warm or humid where you live, you should add more water to your daily drinking quota. This is because your body will lose fluids as you sweat. Drinking sufficient amounts of water will replenish the fluid level in your body. Many health experts also recommend drinking distilled water instead of tap water, which might contain chlorine or other impurities.

Other Sources of Fluids

It is often said that a person needs to drink less water daily if he or she consumes watery foods, such as soups or melons. Others believe that drinking other beverages will reduce the amount of water that a person needs to drink daily. There is believed to be some truth to these theories, but the extent to which other types of fluid can be counted toward a person's daily water intake is a matter of debate among many healthcare professionals.

Some health experts say that the body processes watery foods and other beverages in a way that is different from the way it processes water, so substituting other types of fluids for water does not provide adequate hydration. Most experts agree, however, that plain water is the best source of fluids. This is because it contains no calories or additives, it is inexpensive, and it is readily available in most parts of the world.

Effects of Medical Conditions

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, people who are suffering from illnesses that cause vomiting or diarrhea and people who are trying to lose weight typically should drink more water daily. Certain other medical conditions, such as bladder infections, also should be treated with an increase in water consumption. Increasing water intake not only replenishes the body's fluids, it also helps the body flush out unwanted substances. For example, burning fat to lose weight creates waste products that must be flushed from the body. Drinking more water daily will help remove these toxins from the body.

Water Retention

Some people who suffer from water retention, also known as bloating, are reluctant to drink extra water because they think that it will make the bloating worse. Retaining water, however, is often a sign that the body is not getting enough water, causing it to hoard what little water it has. Counter-intuitively, even if you feel bloated or your ankles are swollen, drinking more water will actually help you shed the excess fluids that are stored in your tissues.

Water Intoxication

It is possible to overdose on water. Too much water can throw the body's electrolytes out of balance and can cause many types of symptoms, including headache, cramping, nausea, confusion and vomiting. In some instances, it can even be fatal. Water intoxication, also called water poisoning, is very rare, however, and occurs mostly under unusual circumstances and when enormous amounts of water are consumed within a short period of time.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By anon969206 — On Sep 08, 2014

It's not so much about the quantity, but the quality of the water you are drinking—in relation to body mass. Daily and constant intake of water helps the body hydrate and subtly detox, but the water must be able to effectively absorb into our cells. Otherwise what comes in, comes right back out.

There is a new water bottle called the DYLN Living Water Bottle that not only increases the pH of the water to create living water, but it breaks up the large clusters of water molecules into smaller clusters, otherwise known as micro-clutered water. This allows the water to permeate your cells more easily, allowing the body to effectively hydrate.

By anon351569 — On Oct 15, 2013

I have been reading about this a lot concerning distilled water. It appears there is no clear answer and everyone's body is different. So I did my own research carefully. I am a 60 year old woman and I have bouts of colitis and constipation in my history.

I do drink between three and four (mostly three) 16.9 oz. bottles a day. Since I was still having problems, I cautiously took in about 10 ounces of distilled water to see what would happen. From all the research I did, it was clear that it would not kill me. An hour and half later, I had a terrific bowel movement (sorry to be so frank). It is the next day and I do feel somewhat better. I will not use anymore for now but perhaps, in certain circumstances. this would be actually good for you.

Again, I believe we are all unique, and their is no one right answer except to be smart and listen to your own body.. Hope this helps someone. P.S. I'm, 5'3" and weigh 117 pounds.

By anon318280 — On Feb 06, 2013

Well, it may sound funny, but I think in reality, too much anything will cause side effects. This is the truth and there is no more discussion. That's it.

By anon181726 — On May 30, 2011

Drink only clean water. Not chlorinated fluorinated tap water. Even bottled water should be filtered through a Berky gravity water filter to remove BPA from the plastic. Diet soda and regular soda will slowly kill you.

Half of your diet or more should be raw organic greens, sprouts and vegetables. Eat only grass fed beef or free range chicken ONCE or twice a week. No sugar.

And probiotics!! Kefir, kombucha tea, Kimchi or even a pill (last resort).

Then wean yourself off of all prescription drugs.

You may thank me later.

By anon181430 — On May 29, 2011

Drink only clean water. Not chlorinated, fluorinated tap water. Even bottled water should be filtered through a Berky gravity water filter to remove BPA from the plastic. Diet soda and regular soda will slowly kill you.

Half of your diet or more should be raw organic greens, sprouts and vegetables. Eat only grass fed beef or free range chicken once or twice a week. No sugar.

And probiotics! Kefir, kombucha tea, Kimchi or even a pill (last resort). Then wean yourself off of all prescription drugs. You may thank me later.

By anon165475 — On Apr 05, 2011

I used to drink nothing but soda pop, then switched to diet soda, but not water. I developed Lymphedema in my lower extremities. My legs ballooned up. I was told to drink more water. and I did, hating it. But, i continued and I drank more and more water each day, until I was averaging 130-150 ounces a day and now,soda pop makes my stomach queasy!

Since I've began this water regime, my legs are back to normal size and my body is no longer dehydrated. And I feel a lot better!

By anon150599 — On Feb 08, 2011

Evey persons system works differently,so we cannot draw a line. For me, i try things gently to see if i can tolerate and then get to the pick of it all. Remember the saying: Easy does it. Good luck to all of you, in whatever you are trying to achieve and may God bless all. --hdvh

By anon134737 — On Dec 15, 2010

After 53 years of not drinking water (i hate it

and find it hard to take in), just like comment

made above me anon25046. i totally can relate to everything this person said.

But lab results: Urea (BUN) reading normal range is 2-7 and mine is 7.6. It's too high - not enough toxins are being processed by my kidneys. The doctor said i am dehydrated (he could tell by readings that i do not drink water and i told him so.)

No, i am not going to drink 10 glasses of water a day that the doctor recommended, or i could get damaged kidneys in future.

I hate drinking water but hate even more the feeling of even a 1/4 filled up bladder. I like my bladder empty at all times. I already go three times to the washroom on one glass, never mind 10 glasses. It stinks, but I am working on drinking two glasses for the first time in my life, at my age of 53. --maxine

By anon128580 — On Nov 19, 2010

I'm attempting to gain weight so I'm supposed to drink about three quarts of apple juice per day. Is this dangerous? Could I get water intoxication from drinking too much apple juice?

By ronaldyate — On Oct 24, 2010

Here is a quick way to find out for the average person if you need more water. If you are thirsty, then drink. If not thirsty you or may not have some water. Read all the info, people. Just because it is on the net does not make it true. New age medicine or old, no one really knows. And I use a doctor that has MD after his name.

By anon118929 — On Oct 15, 2010

I got to like hot water. Very good for my laptop, too - boiled water is the least risky liquid to knock over.

However, I found that not drinking for half a day when I wasn't thirsty was fine - but a sip of water gave me a headache that day. Coincidence (I would get that headache anyway) or did that sip turn off some "low-water" special body operation mode (like you shouldn't water plants in hot weather)?

On shedding the fat and toxins, will a lot of water be a lot of work? My tap water filter works really slowly, if kidneys are like that they won't be able to process those two litres without working like slaves.

By anon94945 — On Jul 10, 2010

This topic really hits a soft spot with me. i am so spoiled that I hate the taste of water. It is really dangerous not to drink the simplest liquid given to us from day one. I am trying my best to hydrate myself.

i found some very positive help inform of an iPhone app. The is app called "Absorb Water" and it allows you to keep track of everything you drink. It even counts a bowl of soup or an apple. Great way to keep yourself hydrated especially if you don't drink (enough) water!

Very useful app and full of great hydration info.

By anon91679 — On Jun 23, 2010

It seems that if losing weight rapidly, then drinking more water will help get all the fat and other crap that is leaving the body out faster and help metabolism stay high.

I drink between 70 and 120 oz daily, depending on my activities and at 6'2" I fluctuate between 210 and 220 lbs. This is technically overweight (BMI), and I wonder if drinking more water will help me keep my body fat percentage lower? not sure.

By anon89892 — On Jun 13, 2010

i see a lot of health questions on this forum. this really isn't the place to get credible results from people. i mean, just look at the posts; they're filled with junk. do your own research, find out for yourself the real answers.

for example, the LD50 for water in humans is less than than 90ml/kg. basically, you can give a little over six liters of water to a 150 pound human before 50 percent of them will die (six liters is about 1.5 gallons). or around 13.5 pounds of water.

Always base all decisions on facts.

By anon81959 — On May 04, 2010

To get your electrolytes, add a pinch of sea salt.

By anon78661 — On Apr 19, 2010

For the person who said they just hate water, that they take a sip and it sits there all day. Here's something you may be able to handle. I drink water all day and sip through a straw. It's easier for me to drink it that way..goes down faster. But, I also add lemon and also a drop or two of stevia. It then tastes like a light lemonade -- not tart, just slightly sweet with a touch of lemon taste. Delish!

By anon75437 — On Apr 06, 2010

I think before anything you should talk with your doctor. He/She will be able to order blood tests. I have gone from drinking when I'm thirsty to drinking 32 ounces a day and am perfectly fine, I don't feel dizzy as much anymore. For those who need more electrolytes (like I do), the best thing is to eat some salt crackers or bananas, potassium and sodium are the electrolytes our bodies most need.

By anon68941 — On Mar 05, 2010

Drinking water is not harmful to any one. Our bodies are approx. 70 percent water (or higher). At birth its a whopping 88 percent.

Dying from water consumption is rare-- extremely rare and the amount of water intake to create that result is beyond the formula of (body weight) divide by 2 = ounces of water.

I am deeply sorry for your loss. But panic/scare tactics are just as unwise as not performing adequate research.

We live in an age like no other in history where information is at our fingertips. We need to be aware, to research and to pay attention to what our bodies tell us.

More people die at the hands of doctors every year, than they do by handguns. There are more mistakes, more misdiagnosis, more improper drugs, more misprescriptions and drug interactions than deaths by car accidents.

So place it into perspective. Does this mean we should stop using doctors? Well I don't use them myself. They call it a practice for a reason. They only practice on you. They don't know. And a really good doctor will be honest and tell you they don't know. They're guessing based on symptoms.

You have to know your body and trust your body. And hope the doctor listens and goes on the journey with you. Not try to lead you by the nose.

I weigh 237 pounds. I drink four or five 32 oz glasses of water with lemon, herbal teas or other liquids a day. I've dropped 40 lbs using Dr. Simeons protocol and a homeopathic HCG spray. I'm vibrant. Energetic. Less depressed. Less fatigued. I sleep better, longer and I'm happy with my progress. Good luck. Be well.

By anon67694 — On Feb 26, 2010

Wow, these recommended amounts that I'm finding seem a little insane. Although I can understand how this may apply to people who lack a diet of wholesome water-rich foods.

By anon65094 — On Feb 11, 2010

Please be very careful with any type of diet that says just drinking water will help you lose weight or that it is healthy.

My brother got caught up in that myth and is now dead! He learned on the internet of a diet that factored your weight into ounces of water intake you needed to have daily and this created a situation in his body that caused catastrophic consequences that led to his death!

Do not undertake any diet it, no matter what anyone tells you without consulting a doctor first on the consequences of the diet unless you want to die!

My brother didn't want to die and he wasn't a stupid man. He just thought that he had found an "easy" way of conquering a battle he had fought all his life. We must now face our lives knowing that people will put on the internet things that seems simple and safe but are in reality are very deadly to us.

Please beware for your sake and for the sake of those you would leave behind.

By anon65007 — On Feb 10, 2010

i drink 3/4 of a gallon to a gallon per day. is this insane? I've been working with a physical trainer for months and this has been a part of my daily routine with diet and exercise.

By anon39940 — On Aug 05, 2009

i am 215 pounds. now i want to know if i drink lots of water will i lose 80 pounds?

By anon30455 — On Apr 19, 2009

If you hate water then this is what you do. For example, If you drink soda or sport drinks all day then just cut back. When your body gets thirsty, have only one glass of water. It'll feel good to your body. Your body is smarter than your brain, it goes off instinct.

Their is not one kind of water, go to the store and look at kinds they have. Smartwater is what I go for and Coke & Pepsi make water too. Water is good for you no matter how much you drink. Not drinking water can and will break down your organs that process food. If your not feeling it, you will. Just ask your doctor.

By anon29617 — On Apr 05, 2009

I'm trying to lose 85 to 100 lbs. I lose 8 to 10 lbs and I exercise 5 to 6 days a week. I was walking 1 mile a day then I increased it to 3 to 4 miles a day. My doctor said to take it up to 5 to 7 miles daily.

I also was drinking 64 oz to 80 oz of water but she said I need to drink more like 1 gallon, 128 oz to 138 oz. I asked her why and she said I have to drink half my body weight. Is that true? If I weight 250 lbs must I really drink 128 to almost 140 ounces of water to lose even though I'm exercising?

By anon29527 — On Apr 03, 2009

I drink 150-180 ounces of water a day, about 1.25 gallons. But I train for mixed martial arts, so I need a lot of water.

Drinking water is one of the healthiest things you can consume daily.

If you don't like it, I suggest you stop drinking the soda and learn to like water.

You'll thank me later.

By rusalka — On Feb 11, 2009

hello, i have just joined. i was wondering, what would happen if i don't drink my daily portion of water? i mean, i am not thirsty enough to drink 2 liters a day and it's uncomfortable to drink water when you don't want to. please, help

By anon25766 — On Feb 03, 2009

For me i just put in 8 glasses of water to my body daily.. and it includes soups and teas and other liquids, like liquids in vegetable or fruits (yes, they do have some amounts of fluid although not very much).. I'm happy with it,,, keeps me healthy..

By anon25046 — On Jan 22, 2009

I have a difficult time drinking water, I just HATE drinking water...yuck. Now, I can drink 6 or more cups of coffee or tea a day, cola's, soda's shakes, but not water. My doctor said I need to drink more water, but I just can't get into it. I get a bottle, take a few sips and it sits there all day. I have tried flavored waters (worse yuck), I just can't get wrapped up into water. When I try to force myself, but then I want to vomit, my stomach feels all sloshy and I get nauseous. My urine is always a dark yellow and I know its because I don't drink enough water, but I don't care, I just can't get into it. Water IS boring! Another thing - I don't ever feel thirsty, it's rare that I ever get thirsty even in hot weather. My friends laugh at me and call me a camel. What can happen to you if you don't drink a lot of water, but don't feel thirsty. I am 61 years old and have never drank a lot of water.

By anon25045 — On Jan 22, 2009

Moderation is best. In most cases more can't hurt. For healthy overweight people in warm weather slightly chilly water is best.

By anon11992 — On Apr 28, 2008

i drink about 7-9 32oz bottles of water a day. no coffee & no pop. and i exercise 1/2hr every day. am i drinking too much water? i love water. but im told that its not going to help me lose weight if i drink so much. -sara

By motherteresa — On Apr 03, 2008

So now after all these years of being told that we should drink 8 glasses of water every day, the studies are coming out that that is not necessarily so. It seems that there is no evidence that drinking all that water is of any benefit. Supposedly, we need 1.5 quarts of water a day and we get that by drinking but also through the food we eat.

In hot weather or when exercising strenuously, our bodies need more liquid, but for most people 8 glasses is too much to take in one day, every day, but they force themselves to drink it all thinking it's good for them.

So again moderation prevails. Drinking water, or in my case green tea, is what we should continue doing. For good health, we do not need necessarily 8 glasses a day anymore.

By olittlewood — On Dec 28, 2007

how much water is too much? i know a lady who is a body builder, and she drinks one to two gallons of water per day. i know you should be well hydrated, but this seems like overkill.

By manymeese — On Dec 05, 2007

If you have a bad heart and have just finished exercise or are out doing yard work like my late husband was, drinking cold water can kill you. Your heart is already overworking and when it has to process the cold water it can't... you will overwork it. Drinking room temperature water is so much better.

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