Keeping yourself hydrated using the 8x8 rule is simple, but there's much more to it than that. Find out how much water you should drink a day, based on different factors that impact the need for fluid intake.
Most doctors go by the 8x8 rule, 8 glasses of 8 ounces of water every day, for a total just under 2 liters daily. However, the exact quantity of water your body needs depends on a lot of factors, including what you eat, how active you are and even your surroundings.
When you're asking yourself how much you should drink every day, you should never leave that up to thirst. When you're feeling thirsty, you're already under-hydrated. If you're rarely thirsty, there's another indicator of hydration that can help you out. Check the color of your urine: light yellow or colorless is what you should be aiming for. Don't worry if your urine is slightly darker in the morning, the color counts throughout the day, not after hours of not drinking a drop.
Your daily water intake can also depend on fluids such as skim milk and sugar-free juice and even food, but never count coffee and alcoholic beverages. They technically contain a lot of water, but they're also diuretics that can actually leave you dehydrated.
How Much Water You Should Drink Each Day You Work Out
When you're being active and sweating, your water intake should go up. For a short workout, you won't need more than two extra cups of water, but the water intake for longer periods of sustained effort increases.
If you're truly testing your limits by running a marathon or a similar extended effort, you're better off drinking a sports drink that also includes electrolytes lost through sweating.
How Much Water You Should Drink per Day When Pregnant or Breast Feeding
Daily water intake increases during pregnancy and you may even go up to 10 glasses of water a day. Breast-feeding makes the body lose even more fluids, so the overall fluid intake should go even further, more than 3 liters a day or the equivalent of 13 glasses.
How Much Water You Should Drink a Day When Sick
Symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea and fever cause the body to lose a lot of fluids fast, so you should always try to stay hydrated, either with water or with a soothing herbal tea.
Urinary tract infections or stones can also increase the daily amounts of water needed, while other diseases can restrict your allowed water intake. Always remember to discuss this with your doctor when you get a diagnosis.