1 Corinthians 6:19-20
John 4:15 woman at well
Water: How much should you drink
Water is essential to good health. Are you getting enough?
These guidelines can help you find out.
How much water should you drink each day? It’s a simple
question with no easy answer.
Studies have produced varying recommendations over the years.
But your individual water needs depend on many factors,
including your health, how active you are and where you live.
No single formula fits everyone. But knowing more about your
body’s need for fluids will help you estimate how much water to
drink each day.
What are the health benefits of water?
Water is your body’s principal chemical component and makes up
about 50% to 70% of your body weight. Your body depends on
water to survive.
Every cell, tissue and organ in your body needs water to work
properly. For example, water:
• Gets rid of wastes through urination, perspiration and bowel
• Keeps your temperature normal
• Lubricates and cushions joints
• Protects sensitive tissues
Lack of water can lead to dehydration — a condition that occurs
when you don’t have enough water in your body to carry out
normal functions. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy
and make you tired.
How much water do you need?
Every day you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine
and bowel movements. For your body to function properly, you
must replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and
foods that contain water.
So how much fluid does the average, healthy adult living in a
temperate climate need? The U.S. National Academies of
Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an
adequate daily fluid intake is:
• About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day for men
• About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women
These recommendations cover fluids from water, other beverages
and food. About 20% of daily fluid intake usually comes from food
and the rest from drinks.
What about the advice to drink 8 glasses a day?
You’ve probably heard the advice to drink eight glasses of water a
day. That’s easy to remember, and it’s a reasonable goal.
Most healthy people can stay hydrated by drinking water and
other fluids whenever they feel thirsty. For some people, fewer
than eight glasses a day might be enough. But other people might
You might need to modify your total fluid intake based on several
• Exercise. If you do any activity that makes you sweat, you
need to drink extra water to cover the fluid loss. It’s important
to drink water before, during and after a workout.
• Environment. Hot or humid weather can make you sweat
and requires additional fluid. Dehydration also can occur at
• Energy. Your body loses fluids when you have a fever,
vomiting or diarrhea. Drink more water or follow a doctor’s
recommendation to drink oral rehydration solutions. Other
conditions that might require increased fluid intake include
bladder infections and urinary tract stones.
Is water the only option for staying hydrated?
No. You don’t need to rely only on water to meet your fluid needs.
What you eat also provides a significant portion. For example,
many fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon and spinach, are
almost 100% water by weight.
In addition, beverages such as milk, juice and herbal teas are
composed mostly of water. Even caffeinated drinks — such as
coffee and soda — can contribute to your daily water intake. But
go easy on sugar-sweetened drinks. Regular soda, energy or
sports drinks, and other sweet drinks usually contain a lot of
added sugar, which may provide more calories than needed.
How do I know if I’m drinking enough?
Your fluid intake is probably adequate if:
• You rarely feel thirsty
• Your urine is colorless or light yellow
Your doctor or dietitian can help you determine the amount of
water that’s right for you every day.
To prevent dehydration and make sure your body has the fluids it
needs, make water your beverage of choice. It’s a good idea to
drink a glass of water:
• With each meal and between meals
• Before, during and after exercise
• If you feel thirsty
Should I worry about drinking too much water
Drinking too much water is rarely a problem for healthy, wellnourished adults. Athletes occasionally may drink too much water
in an attempt to prevent dehydration during long or intense
exercise. When you drink too much water, your kidneys can’t get
rid of the excess water. The sodium content of your blood
becomes diluted. This is called hyponatremia and it can be lifethreatening.
Bible Passage: I Corinthians 6:19-20
1 Corinthians 6:19-20