05/01 Health & Wellness Tip – How much water?

This month we will explore hydration. Our bodies are made up of at least 50% water. So consuming sufficient water is critical for our bodies to function properly.

WaterA question I hear often is “How much water should I drink?”

Here are the two common rules we hear:

  1. Drink at least 8 8-oz glasses (64 oz) of water daily and
  2. Drink half your weight in oz (If you weigh 140 lbs, you should drink at least 70 oz).

Well, that seems easy enough. The reality is, it is not that easy. Other factors, such as age, weight, level of physical activity, and the climate we live in, impact how much water we should consume. If you want a number that is more customized for you, that is easier than you think. Fortunately, several online calculators tell you the amount of water to consume daily based on information you provide.

Guard Your Health – Enter your weight, activity level, and climate you live in. You can also indicate if you did strenuous exercise today (which boosted my consumption another 6 oz).

Int’l Bottled Water Association – Weight, exercise time, and exercise intensity are the three items to complete to get your daily water intake.

Camelbak and the University of Connecticut – This calculator determines how much water you should drink when engaging in physical activity. You enter your gender, height, age, weight, urine color, amount you sweat, type of activity, amount of time exercising, intensity level, weather conditions, and temperature.

It was interesting to see the different results with these three calculators. While there may not be scientific evidence behind it, I kind of like the 8 8-oz glasses per day guideline. It is easy to remember. With this as your guideline, you can use a tracking system on paper, on your phone (Water Drink Reminder app or others), bracelets you remove as you drink, rubber bands on your water bottle that you remove, etc. to help ensure you drink your 64 oz every day.

Instead of asking “How much water should I drink?” I believe a better question is – “How do I know if I am drinking enough water?” Next week we will explore this when we look at dehydration symptoms.

Drinking water is not the only way to hit your daily water goal. In a future post, we will explore foods that help you obtain at least 64 oz.


by Michele Spear