How Much Water Should You Really Be Drinking?

If you Google, "how much water should I be drinking?", you'll probably get mixed reviews. Some sources say that eight glasses of water is sufficient, while others say to drink half your body weight in ounces. It's tough to decide what's really right for you, so we dug a little deeper to find out.

If you're drinking water to lose weight, you should know that's a common misconception. While it can't make you drop pounds of fat, water can flush out water weight and suppress your appetite -- both of which can help in your weight loss journey. So, how much water should you be drinking to stay hydrated?

According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, an adequate daily fluid intake is:

  • About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids for men
  • About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women

It should be noted that "fluids" include water, other beverages, and food. Around 20 percent of your daily fluid intake should come from water-rich food (like cucumbers or kiwi), and the rest should come from drinks.

You may need to up your fluid intake if:

  • You're exercising 
  • You're in humid weather and/or high altitudes
  • You're sick, vomiting, or experiencing diarrhea 
  • You're pregnant or breastfeeding
  • You have certain diseases, like diabetes 

As always, if you're concerned about your water intake, consult your doctor.