Are you curious how much water you should drink every day? Make sure that you know the facts to avoid getting dehydrated when the weather heats up.

How much water should I be drinking?

The amount of water that each person’s body needs will be very different based on many factors, such as their weight, muscles mass, current hydration status, use of medications which change your water loss, and many other things. Hence it is a great question, but there is no “one-size fits-all” answer.

However, science does have a way of coming through for us with the tough answers. The average water intake recommended by the Institute of Medicine for men is about 3L/day, and 2.2L/day for women. These numbers are generalised and are for an average healthy adult.

Why do we need water?

Water is incredibly healthy and essential for life and has many health benefits. Water is what makes up a lot of the volume in your blood and helps to flush out toxins from your body and also to carry the nutrients to where they need to go. When you drink enough water, it also keeps your kidneys nice and hydrated which is very important in the long run for their efficient functioning.

What about the 8 glasses a day rule?

There is a general rule which many people go by, where it is suggested that you drink 8 glasses of water a day. However you can imagine that if you apply this for a 60kg woman and also to a 100kg man, this rule might not necessarily suit both of them perfectly. One of the reasons contributing to the popularity of this rule is that it is easy to remember, and it is relatively close to the average water needs. But it is better to take this rule with a (metaphorical) pinch of salt and remember that it is okay to drink a bit more or less, depending on your individual needs and factors that may change how much water your body requires

Reasons why your body’s water needs can change

There are several factors which influence how much water your body needs. Exercise, being sick, pregnancy and breast feeding, hotter temperatures and some medications can all make you need to increase the amount of water that your body needs. Come book an appointment and have a chat to one of our friendly doctors if you need advice more suited to your specific condition.

Other sources of water

Don’t forget too that water isn’t just from the tap! Water is in all the other beverages you drink such as juice, milk, cordial, soft drinks, teas and coffee. There is even water in food, particularly juicy fruit and vegetables such as watermelon and tomatoes.

Can I drink too much water?

It is uncommon, but yes, it is possible to drink too much water. What happens is that your kidneys can’t get rid of enough water, and the blood becomes diluted. Certain substances in your blood are also diluted, such as the sodium and this leads to a condition called hyponatraemia. However this is uncommon in the average, healthy adult.

Most people should aim to have a urine output of around 1.5L per day or clear to light yellow urine, as this suggests that your body is getting enough water. However, if you are concerned about your water intake then come in and see one of our friendly doctors to provide you with specific tailored advice to your situation.


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  2. Gomella LG, et al. Clinician’s Pocket Reference. 11th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2014.

  3. The water in you. U.S. Geological Survey Water Science School.

  4. Dietary reference intakes for water, potassium, sodium, chloride and sulfate. Institute of Medicine. .

  5. Armstrong LE, et al. Mild dehydration affects mood in healthy young women. Journal of Nutrition. 2012;142:382.

  6. Hydration: Why it’s so important. American Academy of Family Physicians.

  7. Fitness and nutrition: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

  8. Selecting and effectively using hydration for fitness. American College of Sports Medicine.

  9. Hydrate right. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

  10. Altitude illness. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  11. Popkin BM, et al. Water, hydration, and health. Nutrition Reviews. 2010;68:439.

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