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How Much Water To Drink Daily?

Ran across an interesting tidbit while pursuing Facebook this morning.  A little piece on the importance of water to your heart health seemed important enough to pass along, and we encourage you to share with friends and family.

How much water do I need?

The Mayo Clinic says that water is a principal component in the human body, and is vitally necessary for normal bodily functions.  We set out to help answer a basic question for you; How much water to drink daily?

“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.” – The MayoClinic.org

How much water do you need daily?

drink water daily

Evidence is mixed on this and there is no hard data to support a set number of glasses per person.  We're all different sizes, shapes and have different needs depending on our human state.  The general rule of thumb is that you should drink eight 8 ounce glasses of water per day (at least).

RELATED: Preventing Dehydration in Older Adults

Interestingly some agencies claim that total fluid intake (water and other fluids) should exceed 3 liters for men and 2.2 liters for women.  That's a lot of fluid… Are you getting enough?  How efficiently are your bodily organs functioning if you're not taking in the fluids that your body requires? (I know these are tough questions.)

“The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day. The AI for women is 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day.” – The MayoClinic.org

Did you know that drinking water at a certain time maximizes its effectiveness on the body?  Here are some interesting stats about the benefits of drinking water during your day and/or evening:

how much water do I need?
Kids and Older Adults Benefit from Water

Best times to drink water

  • 2 Glasses of water after waking up – helps activate internal organs
  • 1 Glass of water 30 minutes before a meal – helps digestion
  • 1 Glass of water before taking a bath – helps lower blood pressure
  • 1 Glass of water before going to bed – avoids stroke or heart attack.  (There is no evidence to support this theory circulating online – though intuitively we believe it could be important for overall health.) Additionally water at bed time can prevent night time leg cramps. When your leg muscles cramp up, many times they are seeking hydration.

RELATED: DRINKING TEA MAY LOWER DEMENTIA RISK

If you're looking for some tips on how to motivate yourself to better hydration, HealthDigezt.com published a nice article entitled 10 Easy Ways to Drink More Water Daily.  2 of my favorites are #5 Replacing soda, juice and coffee with water (even though I'm a big-time water drinker, I still need my coffee), and #8 Hydrate when you exercise (always).

The benefits of hydrating with water throughout your day (and into your evening) cannot be overstated.  Do yourself a favor… Drink a glass of water today!  Check that… Drink at least 8 glasses of water today!

Photo: Flickr/Carol VanHook

33 Comments

  1. I am 77 and very active. I’ve started drinking a glass of water right before going to bed and usually, I no longer have to get up to urinate during the night.

  2. This is one awesome post Amie🙂

    I try to drink water every now and then – before going to sleep, after I wake up (Studies say that water can help to restart our organs), and during my meals.

    Currently, I don’t track my water intake, but I am going to start doing it. As tracking is the only way we know for sure whether we have accomplished our goals.

    I do carry around my own water bottle (20 oz) so tracking will not be tough for me 😀

    Also I try to make water more interesting, I usually go with iced tea 😀

    I don’t have a measuring cup, so I am just going to try and finish my bottle 3 times a day 😀 (that will get me close to my daily intake needed :D).

    Anyways, thank you for the comprehensive post 😉 Water has so many benefits and yet many of us forget to drink enough of it everyday and most of us are not aware of what our daily intake should be.

  3. Benefits of drinking water should be known and apply in our lives which is an essential part of the human life. Research showed that optimal hydration reduces the risk of stroke, manages diabetes and guard against many kinds of cancers.

    Want to know more about benefits of drinking water or Advantageous Impact of Water over the Human health? Please read our full article…

  4. Many elderly people have kidney issues and should check with their doctor on how much water to drink daily due to their kidneys not functioning properly. I had this problem dealing with my father who lived in the Phoenix desert where it’s very hot and people normally think “drink water, drink water, drink water, so you don’t get heat stroke, etc.”.

  5. I was told by a medical professional that an elderly person should not drink as much water as a younger person because it flushes the electrolytes from our body. Have I been misinformed?

    1. I’m certain you have been misinformed. The elderly need plenty of water. I’m a caregiver and I can tell you first hand that if they don’t get enough water (I use half their body weight in ounces of water, ex.. weigh 150 lbs, give 75 ounces of water a day) then they will be so confused, tired, urinary tract infections, muscle aches, joint aches, constipation, etc. Elderly people don’t usually get thirsty until they are very dehydrated. You can’t wait that long. Encourage them to drink all day long and MEASURE their water intake. Seriously… water is life for the older folk.

      1. Yes check with your doctor. Too much water can cause muscle tremors and seizures . It depends on the diagnosis esp in the elderly.

    1. Minimum 57 oz of water. Good rule of thumb is half their body weight in ounces of water. If they weigh 150lbs, they need 75 ounces per day. Their joints, organs, brains, muscles, etc are getting older and don’t work as well as when they were younger. I can’t stress this enough… the elderly need WATER. I’m a caregiver and if my clients don’t get enough water, they get so confused, fatigued, their muscles and joints hurt, they get urinary tract infections, they get over medicated, constipated, etc. I’ve found that many of my clients weren’t sick… they were thirsty!

      1. Hi Diana, I’m 71 and in good health. I haven’t paid much attention to water most of my life. I drink if I’m thirsty, But …. I read your comment and thought maybe I should learn something. I’ve lived alone for 20 years and food and drink, I mostly wing it. I DO take vitamins and see a Dr. regularly. This may sound stupid, but cola is a regular part of my day. Caffeine does not affect me. Sometimes I have a cup of coffee before bed because the warm of it lets me relax. So why is coffee or soda bad when they ACTUALLY ARE 90% water. Why does water have to be
        ” real ” or clear ? I don’t understand the true water story. Thanks for listening, LINDA. J.

        1. Linda,

          Certain beverages (those that contain caffeine) and foods (like asparagus and watermelon) are diuretics; in other words, they work to REMOVE water from your system, and speed up dehydration. When you have edema (retaining water in the legs etc.) eating asparagus and watermelon are healthy and safe ways to move the water out.

          However, drinking caffeine is extremely bad for keeping hydration; plus the huge amount of sugar in colas is also another health risk. Just because water is one of the ingredients in these drinks doesn’t mean that it isn’t completely made useless in your effort to hydrate due to the other chemicals involved.

  6. Nice to read your information of drinking of water
    Thanks a lot
    Please keep educating people more and more .

  7. I am a 75 yr old woman. I just spent a day in the hospital being rehydrate. It wasn’t fun and I thought I drank plenty of water during the day. Obviously I didn’t drink enough. I awoke at 3am with stomach pain and diarrhea (I get diarrhea when I am stressed) . Every part of my body ached and I had a severe headache but I didn’t have any idea what the signs of dehydration were. It seems that the elderly need to be made aware of how serious dehydration can be not just how to prevent it. Thanks for your blogs

    Susan Dade

    1. I am a caregiver for a 95 year old man that weighs 160 pounds and has dementia. I’m here to tell you that if we don’t get him to drink AT LEAST 80 ounces of water (we usually give him 100 ounces) he gets so lethargic, has falls, gets recurring bladder infections, and gets so confused he can’t remember his 3 son’s names. A good rule of thumb is at least half of your body weight in ounces of water. But it all depends on what you eat, medications, exercise, kidney/bladder function, etc. We also give him a pinch of himalayan salt on his tongue at night to help him stay hydrated and we put trace mineral drops in his water for electrolytes. It’s been 2-1/2 years of this regime and all is good.

      1. Thanks for your information, Diana. It is so hard to get mama to drink, plus she strangles a lot on fluids, even thickened. May I ask what kind of mineral drops you give your 95 year old man?
        Thanks!
        Theresa

        1. Sorry Theresa! I just saw this. We used 2 different ones. We used Trace Minerals liquid for a while, then we switched to Power Paks by Trace Minerals with 1200mg Vit C because it was easier to measure in his water. We eventually just started putting half teaspoon of himalayan pink salt in half gallon of water and got him to drink that every day. I think that worked even better as far as keeping him hydrated.

  8. Thank you for this .
    my 90 year old mom
    how much does she absolutely need?
    she drinks 1 glass coconut water, 2 ener-c waterbased 1 cup of coffee a.m, about 2-3 glasses water, plus 1 ensure daily.
    she goes for 3-4- 25 min. walks daily up low grades and down.
    thank you
    .

  9. I am 86 I find I need water, 250 ms in a glass nearly every 2 hours during day. Without it I start to feel weak, dizzy and light headed, as though I will fall and there was a time recently when I had missed water for about 4 hours I found that when I tried to remember the phone numbers of certain people I was not able to remember what their names were. I decided to have a large glass of water and lie down for a quarter of an hour or so – and then my mind started to clear and I felt my usual self. Very scary. Also of a night I frequently found my mouth was very dry with tongue sticking to cheeks and roof of mouth – not pleasant – water again to rescue. So I need around just over 2 litres each day. It works for me.

    1. Hi Colleen- have you talked to your Dr. about this? Increased thirst is one of the symptoms of diabetes, I would make sure to discuss with your physician. Best, Amie

  10. How much water an individual needs to drink usually differs from person-to-person. However, 8 glass a day seems to be the norm. I like the time break up that you have mentioned as to the best times to drink water. Really helpful! Will surely follow it. Thanks for this post!

  11. Great Article! Its very important to drink sufficient amount of water as it will keep body hydrating. It will also removed toxics from body.

  12. I appreciate reading your blog and have also written about the importance of older people’s drinking enough water. I know you’ll want to check out this Huffington Post article–http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/24/online-myths_n_3954799.html–where Mayp Clinic weighs in about the inaccuracy of quoting one of their physicians about drinking water before going to bed to avoid heart attacks.

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