HomeHealth & FitnessHow Much Water Do I Need? (Guide to H2O)

How Much Water Do I Need? (Guide to H2O)

So you need to know, “How much water should I drink a day?”

The brief reply: drink sufficient to not be thirsty (perhaps barely extra).

The lengthy reply: learn this information for that!

Proper water consumption is a should for well being and health, which is why we focus on it with each single member of our 1-on-1 Online Coaching Program. We even assign them enjoyable missions to ensure they’re adequately hydrated.

Here’s what we’ll cowl to reply the query, “How much water do you really need?

Pour your self a glass of water (duh), then let’s do that factor!

Should You Drink 8 Glasses of Water a Day? (The Controversy)

This is a really cool picture of a glass of water.

First and foremost, sure you want water.

Boom. Article carried out. I’m happening break.

I child, I child.

Water is nice for you; a good portion of your physique consists of water, and once you lose fluids by sweat, exertion, bodily capabilities, and so on, consuming water may help you replenish fluids.


The complete “8 glasses of water a day” factor isn’t legislation. 

In reality, there’s no actual proof of this being a correct quantity in any respect.[1]

As we’ve advised you earlier than (the perfect workout, the perfect diet), we’re all distinctive snowflakes, and all of us require totally different quantities of water!  

Chef saying "Everybody's different, but that's okay."

Somebody that workout routines with regularity and goes on a whole lot of lengthy runs would require extra water than any person who workout routines much less usually. 

There’s no actual quantity of water that works for every particular person.

So the place did this magical “8 glasses of water a day” quantity initially come from?  

Nobody actually is aware of.  

A gif of Han Solo shrugging, because he doesn't know where that water advice came from either.

According to Snopes[2]:

Back in 1945 the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council said that adults ought to absorb about 2.5 liters of water per day (which is roughly the equal of eight glasses of water), nevertheless it additionally famous most of that consumption stage was already happy by the consumption of meals with out the necessity for the extra consuming of water.

That’s proper, you get a SIGNIFICANT quantity of water from the meals you’re consuming. An enormous proportion of our physique is water, an enormous proportion of the planet is water…why wouldn’t an enormous proportion of our meals be water too?

So, sure. Consuming water is necessary. 

But the 8 glasses a day case doesn’t maintain water (ha!), as we get a good portion of our each day H2O from the meals we devour.  Things like fruits and vegetables (and even meat) are composed of an incredible quantity of water, all of which rely in direction of our ‘hydration quotient’ for the day.

Do you realize what else counts? 


Things like tea, coffee, dreaded sugary drinks, milk, and juices, and even alcoholic beverages. [3] 

How Much Water a Day Do You Really Need? (Follow Your Thirst)

Very cute.

So you now know you don’t want to at all times drink 8 glasses of water.

It could possibly be much less and it could possibly be extra. 

So how a lot precisely do you want?

Honestly? Drink if you end up thirsty. 

That’s it. I’m happening trip!

Kidding once more. 

Seriously although, your thirst is a reasonably rattling good indicator of when it’s best to devour extra water. Do you assume canine and cats and elephants fear about hydration ranges?  

Nope – they merely devour water when their physique tells them that they’re thirsty.

A cute elephant drinking from a hose.


As nerds, we have a tendency to overthink, overanalyze, and drive ourselves loopy with an excessive amount of info.

Now, in case you occur to be a kind of those that wants MORE recommendation than that, test your urine shade.

Weird, I know.

This chart gives an awesome check for the right shade of urine: 

This chart of urine color can help you decide if you should drink more water or not.

Things to contemplate:

  • You need to goal (not actually) for the primary three classes from the highest, or “lemonade” shade.  
  • If your pee is beginning to resemble Lemon Lime Gatorade (4th class down), you’re dehydrated. From right here, the darker and browner the colour, the extra dehydrated you’re. 
  • If your pee comes out a distinct shade altogether, I would in all probability search medical consideration instantly. You’re welcome 🙂

What in case your pee doesn’t have ANY shade to it? You may truly be “overhydrated,” which we speak about in this section.

So what are the telltale indicators that one thing is unsuitable, that you’re dehydrated?

A scene from the Three Amigos, where they clearly need more water.

According to the National Institute of Health,[4] your major indicators of dehydration are:

  • A sense of thirst (duh)
  • Dry or sticky mouth
  • Low or no urine output; urine seems to be darkish yellow
  • Sunken eyes
  • Lethargy

If you feel one or a few of these signs, you might be dehydrated. We need to take this significantly, as a result of SEVERE dehydration might be horrible on your well being, even leading to a coma.

Not good. So drink water everytime you get thirsty.

A scene from the Three Amigos, when someone finally drinks water.

There’s a delusion working round that claims “if you are feeling thirsty, it’s too late and you’re already dehydrated.”

This can also be not true.[5] If you feel the indicators of dehydration, consuming some water can get you proper again on observe.

If you’re usually dehydrated, let’s focus on a fast hack to be sure to’re constantly hydrated.

How to Drink More Water

The above video comes from our Daily Win sequence as a part of Nerd Fitness Prime

The sequence relies on fast actions you possibly can take (5 minutes or much less) to aid you build healthy habits.

In this video, Coach Lauren walks you thru a fast hack if you end up continuously dehydrated in the course of the day: drink a glass of water very first thing within the morning!

That means you can begin off correctly hydrated earlier than the chaos of the day takes over:

A gif of a pirate saying he's too busy to drink water.

It may aid you get up to seize the day!

Here are some extra suggestions for consuming loads of water:

  • Fill up a water bottle earlier than mattress, depart it in plain sight, and drink it very first thing within the morning.
  • If you don’t just like the style of water, you possibly can attempt including some cucumber slices and mint leaves to your in a single day bottle. Your morning water will take in the flavour!
  • If cucumbers or mint ain’t your factor, you possibly can additionally attempt some frozen berries or some cut-up lemon.

We’ve heard from lots of our coaching clients that water very first thing within the AM helps them really feel extra energized all through their day.

Next, I need to handle a query we get very often from our readers. 

Can You Lose Fat by Drinking Lots of Water? (Weight Loss and Water Intake)

A Stormtrooper in water, which is way too much water for him to drink.

It’s widespread recommendation to drink plenty of water for weight reduction. 

Is it legit? 

Is there any proof that consuming loads of water may help one drop some pounds?

Eh, there’s a bit of!

One examine carried out had two teams go on the identical weight loss program, the one distinction being one group had 500 ml of water (about 17 ounces) half-hour earlier than breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

The consequence?[6]

  • The Water Group: misplaced about 4.4% physique fats
  •  The Non-Mandated Water Group: misplaced about 1.1% physique fats

This isn’t a TREMENDOUS distinction, however it’s attention-grabbing!

Batman is curious on how carbs and fat factor into weight loss.

What may be happening? 

Here are two explanation why consuming loads of water may assist with weight reduction:

  1. You’re full. Drinking water takes up room in your abdomen. There is much less room now for meals, but in addition different water like drinks (which can have sugar and hidden energy in it, like fruit juice). 
  2. Water consumption could barely increase your metabolism. I’m not speaking a loopy influence right here, however one examine discovered your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate or what number of energy you burn at relaxation) is raised by 24% for 60 minutes after consuming 500 ml (17 oz).[7]

Let’s present some context right here. 

As we handle in our information “Why Can’t I Lose Weight?, our our bodies obey the Laws of Conservation of Energy and Thermodynamics: 

To drop some pounds, we’d like to burn extra energy than we devour usually. 

The two components above may decrease your “calories in” and lift your “calories out” respectively (an idea we focus on in our Guide to The CICO Diet). This could assist somebody get in shape

However, I wouldn’t wager the farm (observe to self: purchase a farm) on solely consuming water for weight reduction. When we highlighted the examine above on water consumption and weight reduction, it’s necessary to keep in mind that the 2 teams have been each on a calorically restricted weight loss program. It’s not like strategically consuming water alone made folks drop some pounds. 

If you’re on a weight reduction journey, and questioning what may assist, I have two sources for you to take a look at:

  1. How to Lose Weight Without Dieting (The 5 Rules of Weight Loss): you’ve in all probability been on a weight loss program earlier than. You may even be on a weight loss program proper now. We focus on why they typically don’t work (non permanent modifications create non permanent outcomes) and supply a much less standard however extra everlasting resolution (tiny modifications for the win).
  2. Our 1-on-1 Online Coaching Program: lots of our purchasers spent years yo-yoing their weight, going from one weight loss program to one other. It’s solely when working with considered one of our coaches that they have been in a position to obtain sustainable weight reduction. 

Wayne is stoked that he made his small change for weight loss.

I now hear you saying: 

“Okay Steve, I got it. I don’t want to be dehydrated, and drinking water before meals may make me feel full. Why don’t I just start pounding water all day long?”

Great query, my pricey good friend.   

Can I Be Overhydrated? (Too Much of a Good Thing)

This picture shows a waterfall, which would be too much water to drink.

While being correctly hydrated is nice, it doesn’t imply chugging a gallon of water throughout your fitness center session is a good suggestion both. 

If not, then why is that this so widespread to see?

From Outdoors[8]:

A single particular person working for the U.S. army determined that water was a tactical weapon. 

That if the army could possibly be inspired to drink extra throughout maneuvers, they’d have much less heatstroke and fewer sickness and so they’d be extra productive and could possibly be higher troopers. It was purely his thought. It had no scientific foundation in any respect. 

Two years later he revealed a paper supposedly saying that if the US troopers drank 1.9 liters per hour [64 ounces] once they have been exercising within the warmth they might carry out a lot better. There was totally no concrete proof that that was true. 

The downside was, his recommendation was embraced by the U.S. Military. They modified their consuming pointers to say that it’s best to now drink 1.9 liters per hour. The similar individuals who drew up these pointers have been then invited by the American College of Sports Medicine to become involved with drawing up pointers for runners.

In 1996, that culminated with the brand new American pointers,[9] which mentioned that you have to drink as a lot as tolerable throughout train, up to 40 ounces per hour. 

That grew to become the mantra—that you just had to drink earlier than you grew to become thirsty, and as a lot as doable throughout train. It was after that the issues of hyponatremia actually turn out to be problematic around the globe.

Combine this with the sports activities beverage business (which I’ll skewer in a minute) and the bottled water business (probably the greatest scams going, which I’ll get to as properly), and you’ve got a advertising engine that received’t decelerate:

“Drink before you’re thirsty or it’s too late.”  

“Running a marathon?  It’s better to over hydrate then not drink enough!” 

“Better safe than sorry!”

Actually, you CAN overhydrate, and it may be harmful – it’s referred to as hyponatremia, it’s an electrolyte imbalance from an excessive amount of water consumed, and it’s unhealthy information bears.[10]

Want to know the individuals who endure from hyponatremia probably the most?

Marathon and ultra-runners.

Batman has to fun whether he likes to or not...part of fighting crime means running 5Ks (ish).

Dr. Timothy Noakes, the writer of Waterlogged, explains that the overconsumption of water can lead to our physique creating a extreme imbalance of sodium in our system, which might lead to a litany of uncomfortable side effects, even loss of life.[11]

What Noaks found individuals who have handled instances of exercise-induced hyponatremia:

“What I’ve discovered is that every one of those folks have been in all probability consuming 1.2 liters per hour [40 ounces]. They proceed to drink like that for 4 or 5 hours. Now, usually, in case you’re consuming at that price, you merely go it out as urine. 

An individual who’s overdrinking will begin passing urine so ceaselessly that they’ll notice, that is silly. I’m going to cease consuming.

But what occurs in hyponatremia is that, for some cause, the mind interprets that the particular person is dehydrated and secretes the antidiuretic hormone. As a consequence, that forestalls all urine manufacturing. 

Although they’re sweating, they might be sweating at a price of 20 ounces per hour, however they’re consuming at a price of 40 ounces per hour. Every hour they’re accumulating 20 ounces. You can do this for a few hours, however when you’ve amassed about 60 to 80 ounces of water in your physique, your whole tissues turn out to be bloated, and the organ that turns into most affected is the mind.

The mind swells, and since it’s in a inflexible cranium, it can’t swell very a lot. The extra it swells, the extra stress, and that finally squeezes the arteries supplying blood to the mind. Ultimately, there may be much less oxygen getting to the mind, and sure elements turn out to be broken.“

Not good. 

One 2002 examine discovered that 13% of Boston Marathon runners skilled hyponatremia. While many expertise hyponatremia with out being in quick hazard, it actually isn’t wholesome.[12]

So, how do you fight this? 

Drink if you end up thirsty!  

A gif of a cat drinking water


Time to reply your subsequent query: “If drinking too much water causes an issue with sodium imbalances, what about sports drinks? They have electrolytes and sodium in them!”

Allow me!

Are Sports Drinks More Hydrating Than Water? (Water, Sugar, Salt, and You)

A picture of Gatorade, which is more or less just sugar water.

Michael Jordan is famously seen consuming Gatorade throughout his flu recreation in 96, which tells us that with out Gatorade he wouldn’t have been in a position to play:

Little do they let you know that Michael additionally had one other secret weapon at his disposal that helped him play up to snuff in that recreation: apple sauce!

So why is that well-known industrial all about Gatorade and never about apple sauce? 

One phrase, and it rhymes with “honey.”

It's a shame even scientific studies can be bought.

There’s wayyyy more cash within the sports activities beverage business, and so they can promote on the time period “replenish electrolytes” which is definitely means easier to do than they make it out to be.

We’re promised that with out the cautious mixture of electrolytes and components in Gatorade, we’re going to get dehydrated when exercising and endure.

Here’s what occurs: When you sweat, you lose fluids and electrolytes, particularly sodium and chloride (which is why your sweat tastes salty…cease tasting your sweat). Now, once you’re missing fluids and electrolytes, your muscle groups and efficiency can endure.

So that’s the place Gatorade ALLEGEDLY will clear up your whole issues.

Here’s the reality: until you’re exercising for hours and hours and hours, your electrolyte imbalance won’t trigger a drop in efficiency. If you’re exercising for an hour or much less, some sips of water to quench your thirst is greater than sufficient. 

If you ARE exercising for hours upon hours, then further electrolyte merchandise could assist.

In these cases, Gatorade may assist doubtlessly, however there’s nothing in Gatorade that’s magic. It’s sugar, water, sodium, potassium, after which some synthetic and pure flavoring to make it style and look the way in which it does.

Want the advantages of Gatorade whereas in your marathon run with out having to purchase Gatorade? Make your personal!

As Al Kavado talks about here, attempt mixing water, honey, salt, and/or lemon juice. Try totally different combos (mixing in some OJ or utilizing coconut water!)

And identical to that, you have got your sodium, some sugars, and rehydration. No fancy advertising required.


Do some boring cardio for 20 minutes (which burns a minimal variety of energy), after which chug a 32 oz Gatorade (200 energy and 50+ grams of sugar!) and assume you’re higher off. 


Water works simply wonderful for 98% of the actions you’ll ever do.

Does Coffee Dehydrate You? (Caffeine as a Diuretic)

This pictured cup of coffee will indeed hydrate you, because it has so much water.

Time to put the myth-busting cap again on: You’ve in all probability been advised that consuming caffeinated drinks will dehydrate you.

That by consuming caffeinated drinks, you’re truly expelling extra water than you’re consuming.

This is one other a kind of bits of standard knowledge that will get blown out of proportion.

Yes, caffeine is a gentle diuretic. However, our our bodies are fairly darn sensible, and since all drinks are composed nearly completely of water, it greater than makes up for the results.

As identified right here on this examine:[13]

Ingestion of caffeine in massive doses (no less than 250-300 mg, equal to the quantity present in 2-3 cups of espresso or 5-8 cups of tea) leads to a short-term stimulation of urine output in people who’ve been deprived of caffeine for a interval of days or perhaps weeks

A profound tolerance to the diuretic and different results of caffeine develops, nonetheless, and the actions are a lot diminished in people who usually devour tea or espresso. 

Doses of caffeine equal to the quantity usually present in commonplace servings of tea, espresso and carbonated comfortable drinks seem to don’t have any diuretic motion.

So espresso can truly aid you keep hydrated.

A gif of Bill Murray drinking coffee, but ah, maybe use a cup though.

What about alcohol? 

Same factor.

Alcohol has diuretic properties, however solely causes dehydration when consumed at past regular ranges. (Here’s our Guide to Drinking, which covers our ideas on being a match nerd that may nonetheless take pleasure in an occasional cocktail.)


  • Drink if you end up thirsty. 
  • All liquids you devour rely in direction of hydration, and solely in instances of overconsumption can they negatively have an effect on your hydration.

A Note on Bottled Water (Invest in a Water Filter)

A picture of a bottle of water, which you should only buy if you have to.

In 2019, whole U.S. bottled water consumption elevated to 14.4 billion gallons, up from 9.1 billion gallons in 2011.[14]

  • Every particular person in America drank a median of 43.7 gallons of bottled water final 12 months.  
  • Bottled water gross sales elevated by 3.6 p.c in 2019, and now whole $34.6 billion.


It could be very doubtless that your native faucet water is ok!

Check your native authorities for extra info, however in case you stay within the United States, chances are high your faucet water is equal or higher to the bottled stuff! Heck Coca-Cola is aware of this, as their Dasani Brand is finally filtered faucet water.[15]

Want that bottle of Fiji water as a result of it’s clear and pure and gives you with magical talents like a waterbender?

Drinking Fiji water probably isn't going to turn you into this waterbender from Avatar.

There is much less arsenic in Cleveland Tap water than Fiji water![16] Much inexpensive too 🙂

If you don’t just like the style of, or are involved about your native faucet water, attempt a Brita filter or one thing equal. Stop going by lots of of plastic bottles of water yearly, and drink the water you have already got accessible to you.

Yes, if the selection is between no beverage, a Coke, or a bottle of water, go together with the bottled water!

Just don’t exit of your means to purchase water from the polar ice caps, Hoth glaciers, or the Swiss Alps since you assume it’s going to be more healthy for you, offer you extra of a profit than common water.  

That’s all hype, sucka!

So go put money into a pleasant refillable water bottle. You may even snag a Nerd Fitness one in order for you!

Picture of a Nerd Fitness water bottle

Staying Properly Hydrated (Next Steps)

A picture of a glass of water, which you should drink when thirsty.

There you have got it, the lengthy reply on how a lot water it’s best to drink. 

Water retains your physique functioning correctly. Consume it once you really feel the necessity and your thirst can be quenched, your physique will keep regulated, and you’ll stay to see tomorrow.

On high of that, consuming water earlier than a meal may help you are feeling fuller and thus forestall you from overeating. 

If this works for you, hold doing what you’re doing!

Water ought to positively be consumed if you end up thirsty!  

Pikachu drinking water, but maybe you shouldn't drink out of a stream though.

But the significance of water has been overblown, and also you don’t want to spend lots of of {dollars} every year on fancy bottled water from glaciers.

Here’s how typically it’s best to drink H2O::

  • Chill out about water, don’t overthink it.
  • Drink once you really feel thirsty.
  • If your pee is a darker shade than regular, drink extra water.
  • Don’t stress about consuming water neurotically all through the day.
  • Don’t trouble with sports activities drinks until your train is intense, over a number of hours, or in very popular circumstances.

I assume that about does it for at present’s information.

If you’d like to be a part of our neighborhood, I have 3 ways for you to proceed your journey with Nerd Fitness:

#1) Our 1-on-1 Online Coaching Program: a training program for busy folks to assist them make higher meals decisions, keep accountable, and get more healthy, completely.

You can schedule a free name with our group so we are able to get to know you and see if our teaching program is best for you. Just click on on the picture under for extra particulars:

Your NF Coach can help you lose weight and get healthy!

#2) If you need a precise blueprint leveling up your diet, take a look at Nerd Fitness Journey! Our enjoyable habit-building app helps you train extra ceaselessly, eat more healthy, and stage up your life (actually).

If you observe our Nutrition missions, you’ll study to drink extra water whereas incomes XP! Sah-weeeet.

Try your free trial proper right here:

#3) Join The Rebellion! We have a free e mail publication that we ship out twice per week, filled with suggestions and tips to aid you get wholesome, get robust, and have enjoyable doing so. 

I’ll additionally ship you tons of free guides that you should utilize to begin leveling up your life too:

Have any extra questions for me?  What else do you want to find out about water?

Let’s hear it.


PS: We stroll about how water matches into a correct weight loss program in our Guide to Healthy Eating. Check it out in case you’re simply embarking on leveling up your diet recreation.


photograph supply: Han Shot First: Aquaman, jDevaun: Gatorade, RLhyde: Glass,, philografy: bottled water, 27147: coffee cup,, Adventures With My Dogs: Waterfall, Urine Color, 1upLego: Lego Dawn of Justice Aquaman, Kristina Alexanderson: Maybe the droids we’re looking for are at the bottom of the pool, Jeanne Menjoulet: building in a glass of water, Lisa Zins: The Facuet, az: d-136 I’m not just going too far, I’ve arrived




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