How A lot Water Do I Want? (Information to H2O)


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So that you wish to know, “How a lot water ought to I drink a day?”

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

The lengthy reply: learn this information for that!

Correct water consumption is a should for well being and health, which is why we talk about it with each single member of our 1-on-1 On-line Teaching Program. We even assign them enjoyable missions to verify they’re adequately hydrated.

Right here’s what we’ll cowl to reply the query, “How a lot water do you actually need?

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

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

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

At the beginning, sure you want water.

Growth. Article performed. I’m happening break.

I child, I child.

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


The entire “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 instructed you earlier than (the excellent exercise, the right weight loss plan), we’re all distinctive snowflakes, and all of us require totally different quantities of water!  

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

Someone 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 commonly. 

There’s no precise 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?  

No one actually is aware of.  

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

Based on Snopes[2]:

Again in 1945 the Meals and Diet Board of the Nationwide Analysis Council acknowledged that adults ought to soak up about 2.5 liters of water per day (which is roughly the equal of eight glasses of water), however it additionally famous most of that consumption degree 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 essential. 

However 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.  Issues like fruits and greens (and even meat) are composed of an amazing quantity of water, all of which depend in the direction of our ‘hydration quotient’ for the day.

Are you aware what else counts? 


Issues like tea, espresso, dreaded sugary drinks, milk, and juices, and even alcoholic drinks. [3] 

How A lot Water a Day Do You Actually Want? (Observe Your Thirst)

Very cute.

So that you now know you don’t have to all the time drink 8 glasses of water.

It may very well be much less and it may very well be extra. 

So how a lot precisely do you want?

Actually? Drink if you end up thirsty. 

That’s it. I’m happening trip!

Kidding once more. 

Critically although, your thirst is a fairly rattling good indicator of when it’s best to devour extra water. Do you suppose canines 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 are likely to overthink, overanalyze, and drive ourselves loopy with an excessive amount of info.

Now, should you occur to be a type of people who wants MORE recommendation than that, examine your urine shade.

Bizarre, I do know.

This chart offers an incredible check for the correct shade of urine: 

This chart of urine color can help you decide if you should drink more water or not.
Issues to think about:

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

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

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

Based on the Nationwide Institute of Well being,[4] your major indicators of dehydration are:

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

If you’re feeling one or a few of these signs, it’s possible you’ll be dehydrated. We wish to take this critically, as a result of SEVERE dehydration will be horrible to 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 fantasy operating round that claims “if you’re feeling thirsty, it’s too late and also you’re already dehydrated.”

That is additionally not true.[5] If you’re feeling the indicators of dehydration, consuming some water can get you proper again on observe.

If you’re commonly dehydrated, let’s talk about a fast hack to be sure to’re persistently hydrated.

How one can Drink Extra Water

The above video comes from our Every day Win collection as a part of Nerd Health Prime

The collection relies on fast actions you’ll be able to take (5 minutes or much less) that can assist you construct wholesome habits.

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

That manner 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 could actually additionally make it easier to get up to grab the day!

Listed below are some extra ideas for consuming loads of water:

  • Refill a water bottle earlier than mattress, depart it in plain sight, and drink it very first thing within the morning.
  • Should you don’t just like the style of water, you’ll be able to strive 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 could possibly additionally strive some frozen berries or some cut-up lemon.

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

Subsequent, I wish to handle a query we get very often from our readers. 

Can You Lose Fats by Consuming A number of Water? (Weight Loss and Water Consumption)

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

It’s frequent recommendation to drink numerous water for weight reduction. 

Is it legit? 

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

Eh, there’s somewhat!

One examine performed had two teams go on the identical weight loss plan, 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 fascinating!

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

What could be happening? 

Listed below are two explanation why consuming loads of water would possibly assist with weight reduction:

  1. You’re full. Consuming water takes up room in your abdomen. There may be 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 elevate your metabolism. I’m not speaking a loopy impression right here, however one examine discovered your BMR (Basal Metabolic Price 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 Legal guidelines of Conservation of Vitality and Thermodynamics: 

To drop some weight, we have to burn extra energy than we devour commonly. 

The 2 elements above would possibly decrease your “energy in” and lift your “energy out” respectively (an idea we talk about in our Information to The CICO Food regimen). This will assist somebody get in form

Nevertheless, I wouldn’t wager the farm (observe to self: purchase a farm) on solely consuming water for weight reduction. After we highlighted the examine above on water consumption and weight reduction, it’s essential to do not forget that the 2 teams have been each on a calorically restricted weight loss plan. It’s not like strategically consuming water alone made folks drop some weight. 

If you’re on a weight reduction journey, and questioning what would possibly assist, I’ve two assets so that you can try:

  1. How one can Lose Weight With out Weight-reduction plan (The 5 Guidelines of Weight Loss): you’ve most likely been on a weight loss plan earlier than. You would possibly even be on a weight loss plan proper now. We talk about why they often don’t work (non permanent modifications create non permanent outcomes) and supply a much less typical however extra everlasting answer (tiny modifications for the win).
  2. Our 1-on-1 On-line Teaching Program: lots of our shoppers spent years yo-yoing their weight, going from one weight loss plan to a different. It’s solely when working with one in all 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 obtained it. I don’t wish to be dehydrated, and consuming water earlier than meals could make me really feel full. Why don’t I simply begin pounding water all day lengthy?”

Nice query, my pricey buddy.   

Can I Be Overhydrated? (Too A lot of a Good Factor)

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

Whereas being correctly hydrated is nice, it doesn’t imply chugging a gallon of water throughout your health club session is a good suggestion both. 

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

From Outside[8]:

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

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

Two years later he printed 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’d carry out a lot better. There was completely no concrete proof that that was true. 

The issue was, his recommendation was embraced by the U.S. Navy. They modified their consuming tips to say that it’s best to now drink 1.9 liters per hour. The identical individuals who drew up these tips have been then invited by the American Faculty of Sports activities Medication to get entangled with drawing up tips for runners.

In 1996, that culminated with the brand new American tips,[9] which stated that you need to drink as a lot as tolerable throughout train, as much as 40 ounces per hour. 

That grew to become the mantra—that you simply needed to drink earlier than you grew to become thirsty, and as a lot as potential throughout train. It was after that the issues of hyponatremia actually grow to be problematic world wide.

Mix 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 nicely), and you’ve got a advertising and marketing engine that received’t decelerate:

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

“Operating a marathon?  It’s higher to over hydrate then not drink sufficient!” 

“Higher secure than sorry!”

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

Need to know the individuals who endure from hyponatremia essentially 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 creator of Waterlogged, explains that the overconsumption of water can result in our physique growing a extreme imbalance of sodium in our system, which might result in a litany of unwanted effects, even dying.[11]

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

“What I’ve discovered is that each one of those folks have been most likely consuming 1.2 liters per hour [40 ounces]. They proceed to drink like that for 4 or 5 hours. Now, usually, should you’re consuming at that charge, you merely cross it out as urine. 

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

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

Though they’re sweating, they could be sweating at a charge of 20 ounces per hour, however they’re consuming at a charge of 40 ounces per hour. Each hour they’re accumulating 20 ounces. You are able to do that for a few hours, however when you’ve amassed about 60 to 80 ounces of water in your physique, your whole tissues grow 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 not swell very a lot. The extra it swells, the extra stress, and that finally squeezes the arteries supplying blood to the mind. Finally, there’s much less oxygen attending to the mind, and sure components grow to be broken.“

Not good. 

One 2002 examine discovered that 13% of Boston Marathon runners skilled hyponatremia. Whereas many expertise hyponatremia with out being in rapid 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 consuming an excessive amount of water causes a difficulty with sodium imbalances, what about sports activities drinks? They’ve electrolytes and sodium in them!”

Permit me!

Are Sports activities Drinks Extra 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 sport 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 as much as snuff in that sport: apple sauce!

So why is that well-known business 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 extra money within the sports activities beverage business, they usually can promote on the time period “replenish electrolytes” which is definitely manner 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.

Right here’s what occurs: If you sweat, you lose fluids and electrolytes, particularly sodium and chloride (which is why your sweat tastes salty…cease tasting your sweat). Now, whenever you’re missing fluids and electrolytes, your muscle tissues and efficiency can endure.

In order that’s the place Gatorade ALLEGEDLY will remedy your whole issues.

Right 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. 

Should you ARE exercising for hours upon hours, then extra electrolyte merchandise could assist.

In these situations, Gatorade might assist probably, 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.

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

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

And identical to that, you’ve got your sodium, some sugars, and rehydration. No fancy advertising and marketing 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 suppose you’re higher off. 


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

Does Espresso Dehydrate You? (Caffeine as a Diuretic)

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

Time to place the myth-busting cap again on: You’ve most likely been instructed that consuming caffeinated drinks will dehydrate you.

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

That is one other a type of bits of typical knowledge that will get blown out of proportion.

Sure, caffeine is a light diuretic. Nevertheless, our our bodies are fairly darn good, and since all drinks are composed virtually totally of water, it greater than makes up for the results.

As identified right here on this examine:[13]

Ingestion of caffeine in massive doses (not 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 even weeks

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

Doses of caffeine equal to the quantity usually present in customary servings of tea, espresso and carbonated mushy drinks seem to haven’t any diuretic motion.

So espresso can truly make it easier to keep hydrated.

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

What about alcohol? 

Similar factor.

Alcohol has diuretic properties, however solely causes dehydration when consumed at past regular ranges. (Right here’s our Information to Consuming, 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 depend in the direction of hydration, and solely in instances of overconsumption can they negatively have an effect on your hydration.

A Notice on Bottled Water (Spend money on 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]

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


It is extremely possible that your native faucet water is okay!

Examine your native authorities for extra info, however should you reside in the US, likelihood is your faucet water is equal or higher to the bottled stuff! Heck Coca-Cola is aware of this, as their Dasani Model is in the end filtered faucet water.[15]

Need that bottle of Fiji water as a result of it’s clear and pure and offers you with magical skills like a waterbender?

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

There may be much less arsenic in Cleveland Faucet water than Fiji water![16] A lot inexpensive too 🙂

Should you don’t just like the style of, or are involved about your native faucet water, strive a Brita filter or one thing equal. Cease going by a whole bunch of plastic bottles of water yearly, and drink the water you have already got obtainable to you.

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

Simply don’t exit of your manner to purchase water from the polar ice caps, Hoth glaciers, or the Swiss Alps since you suppose 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 Health one in order for you!

Picture of a Nerd Fitness water bottle

Staying Correctly Hydrated (Subsequent Steps)

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

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

Water retains your physique functioning correctly. Devour it whenever you really feel the necessity and your thirst shall be quenched, your physique will keep regulated, and you’ll reside to see tomorrow.

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

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

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

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

However the significance of water has been overblown, and also you don’t have to spend a whole bunch of {dollars} annually on fancy bottled water from glaciers.

Right here’s how usually it’s best to drink H2O::

I feel that about does it for at this time’s information.

Should you’d like to hitch our group, I’ve 3 ways so that you can proceed your journey with Nerd Health:

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

You may schedule a free name with our staff so we are able to get to know you and see if our teaching program is best for you. Simply click on on the picture beneath for extra particulars:

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

#2) If you would like a precise blueprint leveling up your diet, try Nerd Health Journey! Our enjoyable habit-building app helps you train extra continuously, eat more healthy, and degree up your life (actually).

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

Attempt your free trial proper right here:

#3) Be a part of The Rise up! Now we have a free e mail e-newsletter that we ship out twice per week, filled with ideas and methods that can assist you get wholesome, get robust, and have enjoyable doing so. 

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

Have any extra questions for me?  What else do it’s good to find out about water?

Let’s hear it.


PS: We stroll about how water matches into a correct weight loss plan in our Information to Wholesome Consuming. Test it out should you’re simply embarking on leveling up your diet sport.


photograph supply: Han Shot First: Aquaman, jDevaun: Gatorade, RLhyde: Glass,, philografy: bottled water, 27147: espresso cup,, Adventures With My Canine: Waterfall, Urine Shade, 1upLego: Lego Daybreak of Justice Aquaman, Kristina Alexanderson: Possibly the droids we’re searching for are on the backside of the pool, Jeanne Menjoulet: constructing in a glass of water, Lisa Zins: The Facuet, az: d-136 I’m not simply going too far, I’ve arrived



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