⌄ Scroll down to continue ⌄
Last Updated on


How Much Water Should You Drink Each Day (and How to Drink More Water)

Written by Luke George
Health Author
Reviewed by Amy Wilson
Amy Wilson is a Board Certified Geriatric Pharmacist, Fitness Professional and Certified Nutrition Coach.

Fact Checked. Our dedicated editorial team tirelessly evaluates every article we publish to ensure the information is factual, up-to-date and free of bias.

⌄ Scroll down to continue ⌄

We all know that water is important to general health and well-being. But are you actually drinking the right amount of water? Perhaps you suspect that some of your health issues are related to dehydration or overhydration?

Getting the right amount of daily water is important because your body needs this to function properly.

How Much Water Should You Drink Each Day?

For a long time, conventional wisdom suggested that we drink 8 glasses of water a day. However, this figure does not have any basis in scientific evidence.[1]

Experts instead advise that each person should drink the right amount of water for their body weight, level of physical activity and the climate.

So if not 8 glasses, how much?

The scientific answer that most healthcare professionals and experts agree on comes from the IoM (Institute of Medicine). The IoM is an independent, non-profit scientific organization and they recommend 2.7 liters of water a day for adult women and the figure of 3.7 liters for adult men. This is generally applicable to adults who have reasonably good health and live a sedentary lifestyle in a temperate climate.

However, there are instances where you may need to drink more water. For example, if you are in a hot climate or take part in demanding physical activity. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, you should aim to add 12 ounces of water to your daily intake for every 30 minutes of demanding physical activity.

Why Human Beings Need That Much Water

To put it simply, your body cannot function well without the right amount of hydration. This makes sense when you consider that water makes up around 60% of our body weight.

The human body has many important functions to perform and needs water to do most of them. For example, your blood needs to carry oxygen to all the cells in your body but it can only do this with water.[2]


Are You Drinking the Right Amount of Water?

If you are not drinking the right amount of water, then you are either dehydrated or overhydrated.

Signs of Drinking Too Little Water

Here are some simple things to look out for if you are dehydrated:[3]

  • Your mouth is dry
  • The color of your urine is dark
  • You feel dizzy or have headaches
  • You generally feel tired or lethargic

Signs of Drinking Too Much Water

On the other hand, overhydration or hyponatremia is usually caused by the over consumption of water in a short amount of time. This can lead to water intoxication and early symptoms of water intoxication can look like the symptoms of exhaustion and heatstroke.

Here are some common symptoms to check for if you are worried about over-hydration:[4]

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Weak, easily cramping muscles
  • Swelling or discoloration of the hands, feet, and lips.
  • Tiredness or fatigue

Most people are likely to be dehydrated instead of over-hydrated. In fact, some estimate that as many as 75% of Americans are dehydrated.[5]

How to Drink More Water

If you are not drinking enough water, you can correct this by determining your daily water intake and drinking up to that amount.

Here are some quick ideas to get more water into your diet:

1. Set a Goal and Reminders

Write down your goal to drink a specific amount of water a day. Write down your reasons why, of course you will want all of the benefits but what is your main motivation? Connecting with your main motivation is a great way to keep the enthusiasm when the incentive fades.

Then, set reminders. Put reminders into your phone or calendar to drink at regular intervals. It is not good for your body to drink large quantities of water at once, small sips regularly is better than infrequent big gulps.


2. Always Carry a Water Bottle.

Having water always on our person will act as a constant reminder to drink. If you’re rushing from meeting to meeting then having a bottle with you will counteract the excuse of being too busy to hydrate.

3. Make Your Water Taste Nice

Lots of people don’t like the taste (or lack of taste) of water. If this is the case, add some lemon or other citrus fruit to the water to make the taste more pleasant. Infuse your water with fruits and herbs to sweeten the taste if you are a sugar addict.

4. Use a Hydration Monitoring App

There are a lot of free apps out there that remind you to drink water. They let you add what you’ve drunk throughout the day, letting you see when you’ve drunk your recommended amount.

Get a water-drinking monitoring app to help you keep track of your water intake.

5. Eat More Water-Contained Foods

Eat hydrating fruits like cucumber, watermelon and strawberries, which are all over 90% water.

Fruit such as melons, apples and oranges will boost your water intake so try to opt for these as a snack. When eating your lunch always make sure you have a glass of water with you instead of your usual tea, coffee or soda.

Bottom Line

Now that you know how much water you should drink per day, you can adjust your water intake accordingly.

If you’ve found that you need more water, start carrying a water bottle and improve the taste of your water. Setting goals and reminders, as well as utilizing a hydration monitoring app, can all be beneficial.

It will be good for your health and overall wellbeing if you drink the recommended amount of water each day.



Don't have time for the full article? Read this.

How Much Water Should You Drink Each Day (and How to Drink More Water)

Adult women are recommended to drink 2.7 liters of water a day while adult men are recommended to drink 3.7 liters of water a day.

The human body has many important functions to perform and needs water to do most of them. For example, your blood needs to carry oxygen to all the cells in your body but it can only do this with water.

Signs of drinking too little water include having a dry mouth, having dark urine color, feeling dizzy or having headaches, feeling tired or lethargic.

Signs of drinking too much water include feeling nausea, vomiting, having diarrhea, feeling weak and having easily cramping muscles, swelling or discoloration of the hands, feet and lips, feeling tired or fatigue.

Most people are likely to be dehydrated instead of over-hydrated.

To drink more water, set a goal and reminders, always carry a water bottle, make your water taste nice by adding lemon or citrus fruits to it, use a hydration monitoring app and eat more water-contained foods such as cucumber and watermelon.

Featured photo credit: engin akyurt via unsplash.com


[1]US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: “Drink at least eight glasses of water a day.” Really? Is there scientific evidence for “8 x 8”?
[2]University of Rochester Medical Center: Overview of Blood and Blood Components
[3]NHS: Dehydration
[4]WebMD: What is too much water intake?
[5]University of Florida Health Podcasts: Studies Show Most Americans Are Dehydrated
⌄ Scroll down to continue ⌄
⌄ Scroll down to continue ⌄
⌄ Scroll down to continue ⌄
⌄ Scroll down to continue ⌄
⌄ Scroll down to continue ⌄