How Much Water You Should Drink, According to a Doctor

Staying hydrated is vital to your health and wellness. It moves oxygen throughout the body, helps you maintain blood pressure and digestive health, and increases energy levels, among other benefits.

Are You Getting Enough Water?

The most commonly suggested average water intake is about 8 glasses a day—2 liters or 64 ounces. “But there is no one-size-fits-all amount,” says Dalia Hanna, MD, family medicine doctor at Bayshore Medical Center. “ Your need for hydration will vary based on your weight, how frequently you exercise and sweat, your location and its temperature, your health status and more.”

Your doctor can help you understand exactly how much water you personally need, but the goal is to consistently intake water.

It’s also important to be aware of signs of dehydration:

  • Confusion
  • dark urine
  • Body weakness
  • Headaches
  • Lightheadedness
  • dry mouth
  • low blood pressure

6 Tips to Stay Hydrated

  1. Set a daily goal. It is easy to overlook drinking water when you are busy managing other details of your day to day life. Setting a daily goal will make you more mindful of how much water you need to consume.
  2. Keep a reusable water bottle. Often, when we get thirsty, we don’t have direct access to water, so it helps to keep a reusable water bottle on hand. Look for a water bottle with hydration markers or milestones to keep you motivated. Using a straw also helps you drink water more readily.
  3. Set reminders. Reminders and timers are excellent tools to stay on target with your hydration goals. Do this with your phone or watch, or with sticky notes strategically placed throughout your home or at work.
  4. Flavor your water. Add flavoring and fruit to your water, or buy fruit-infused water bottles.
  5. Consume foods with high water content. Water also can be consumed through foods with high water content, such as cabbage, cantaloupe, celery, melon, lettuce and zucchini.
  6. Hydrate instead of overeat. Some people may eat out of boredom, or because they feel hungry when they actually may just be thirsty. If you’re reaching for the snack cabinet too frequently, use this as a signal to grab your water instead. “Your brain can confuse thirst for hunger, and this often manifests as a craving for refined carbohydrates and sugar-rich snacks,” says Betsy Varghese, MD, internal and obesity medicine doctor at Hackensack University Medical Center. “I always say, ‘Have a glass of water first, then reevaluate your true hunger.’”

Next Steps & Resources:

The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.

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