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

I probably wouldn't drink that.

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

The quick reply: drink sufficient to not be thirsty (perhaps 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 ensure they’re adequately hydrated.

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

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.

In the beginning, sure you want water.

Growth. Article finished. I’m happening break.

I child, I child.

Water is sweet for you; a good portion of your physique consists of water, and whenever you lose fluids by means of sweat, exertion, bodily features, and many others, consuming water will help you replenish fluids.


The entire “8 glasses of water a day” factor isn’t regulation. 

In actual fact, there’s no actual proof of this being a correct quantity in any respect.[1]

As we’ve instructed you earlier than (the proper exercise, the proper eating regimen), we’re all distinctive snowflakes, and all of us require completely different quantities of water!  

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

Anyone that workout routines with regularity and goes on a number of lengthy runs would require extra water than any person who workout routines much less recurrently. 

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 person actually is aware of.  

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

In accordance with 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), nevertheless it additionally famous most of that consumption degree was already glad by means of the consumption of meals with out the necessity for the extra ingesting of water.

That’s proper, you get a SIGNIFICANT quantity of water from the meals you might be consuming. An enormous share of our physique is water, an enormous share of the planet is water…why wouldn’t an enormous share of our meals be water too?

So, sure. Consuming water is necessary. 

However the 8 glasses a day case doesn’t maintain water (ha!), as we get a good portion of our every day H2O from the meals we devour.  Issues like fruit and veggies (and even meat) are composed of an amazing quantity of water, all of which rely in 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? (Comply with Your Thirst)

Very cute.

So that you now know you don’t have to at all times 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. 

Significantly although, your thirst is a fairly rattling good indicator of when it is best to devour extra water. Do you suppose canine 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, if you happen to occur to be a kind of those that wants MORE recommendation than that, verify your urine colour.

Bizarre, I do know.

This chart supplies an ideal check for the right shade of urine: 

This chart of urine color can help you decide if you should drink more water or not.

Issues to think about:

  • You need to purpose (not actually) for the primary three classes from the highest, or “lemonade” colour.  
  • In case your pee is beginning to resemble Lemon Lime Gatorade (4th class down), you’re dehydrated. From right here, the darker and browner the colour, the extra dehydrated you might be. 
  • In case your pee comes out a special colour altogether, I might in all probability search medical consideration instantly. You’re welcome 🙂

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

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

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

In accordance with the Nationwide Institute of Well being,[4] your main indicators of dehydration are:

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

If you’re feeling one or a few of these signs, it’s possible you’ll be dehydrated. We need to take this significantly, as a result of SEVERE dehydration might be horrible in 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 working round that claims “in case you are 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 recurrently dehydrated, let’s talk about a fast hack to be sure you’re constantly hydrated.

How you can Drink Extra Water

The above video comes from our Day by day Win sequence as a part of Nerd Health Prime. 

The sequence relies on fast actions you may 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 continually dehydrated through the day: drink a glass of water very first thing within the morning!

That means 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 may additionally assist you to get up to grab the day!

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

  • Replenish a water bottle earlier than mattress, go away it in plain sight, and drink it very first thing within the morning.
  • Should you don’t just like the style of water, you may 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 might 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 need to handle a query we get very often from our readers. 

Can You Lose Fats by Ingesting A lot 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 plenty of water for weight reduction. 

Is it legit? 

Is there any proof that ingesting loads of water will help one drop some weight?

Eh, there’s a bit!

One research carried out had two teams go on the identical eating regimen, 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 is perhaps happening? 

Listed below are two the reason why ingesting loads of water would possibly assist with weight reduction:

  1. You’re full. Ingesting water takes up room in your abdomen. There may be much less room now for meals, but additionally different water like drinks (which can have sugar and hidden energy in it, like fruit juice). 
  2. Water consumption could barely increase your metabolism. I’m not speaking a loopy impression right here, however one research discovered your BMR (Basal Metabolic Price or what number of energy you burn at relaxation) is raised by 24% for 60 minutes after ingesting 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 Power and Thermodynamics: 

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

The 2 components 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 plan). This may increasingly assist somebody get in form. 

Nevertheless, I wouldn’t guess the farm (be aware to self: purchase a farm) on solely ingesting water for weight reduction. After we highlighted the research above on water consumption and weight reduction, it’s necessary to do not forget that the 2 teams had been each on a calorically restricted eating regimen. It’s not like strategically ingesting water alone made individuals 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 you can Lose Weight With out Weight-reduction plan (The 5 Guidelines of Weight Loss): you’ve in all probability been on a eating regimen earlier than. You would possibly even be on a eating regimen proper now. We talk about why they often don’t work (momentary modifications create momentary outcomes) and supply a much less standard however extra everlasting resolution (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 eating regimen to a different. It’s solely when working with one among our coaches that they had 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 acquired it. I don’t need to be dehydrated, and ingesting water earlier than meals could make me really feel full. Why don’t I simply begin pounding water all day lengthy?”

Nice query, my expensive good friend.   

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 sweet, it doesn’t imply chugging a gallon of water throughout your fitness center 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 thought. It had no scientific foundation in any respect. 

Two years later he revealed a paper supposedly saying that if the US troopers drank 1.9 liters per hour [64 ounces] after they had been exercising within the warmth they’d carry out significantly better. There was completely no concrete proof that that was true. 

The issue was, his recommendation was embraced by the U.S. Army. They modified their ingesting tips to say that it is best to now drink 1.9 liters per hour. The identical individuals who drew up these tips had been then invited by the American Faculty of Sports activities Drugs to become involved with drawing up tips for runners.

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

That turned the mantra—that you simply needed to drink earlier than you turned thirsty, and as a lot as attainable throughout train. It was after that the issues of hyponatremia actually develop into problematic all over the world.

Mix this with the sports activities beverage trade (which I’ll skewer in a minute) and the bottled water trade (among the best scams going, which I’ll get to as properly), and you’ve got a advertising and marketing engine that gained’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!”

Truly, 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]

Wish to know the individuals who undergo from hyponatremia probably 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 writer of Waterlogged, explains that the overconsumption of water can result in our physique growing a extreme imbalance of sodium in our system, which may result in a litany of unintended effects, even dying.[11]

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

“What I’ve discovered is that every one of those individuals had been in all probability ingesting 1.2 liters per hour [40 ounces]. They proceed to drink like that for 4 or 5 hours. Now, usually, if you happen to’re ingesting at that fee, you merely cross it out as urine. 

An individual who’s overdrinking will begin passing urine so often that they’ll notice, that is silly. I’m going to cease ingesting.

However what occurs in hyponatremia is that, for some cause, 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 fee of 20 ounces per hour, however they’re ingesting at a fee 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 accrued about 60 to 80 ounces of water in your physique, all your tissues develop into 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’t swell very a lot. The extra it swells, the extra stress, and that finally squeezes the arteries supplying blood to the mind. In the end, there may be much less oxygen attending to the mind, and sure elements develop into broken.“

Not good. 

One 2002 research discovered that 13% of Boston Marathon runners skilled hyponatremia. Whereas many expertise hyponatremia with out being in speedy hazard, it definitely 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 ingesting an excessive amount of water causes a problem with sodium imbalances, what about sports activities drinks? They’ve electrolytes and sodium in them!”

Enable 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 ingesting 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 inform you 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 more cash within the sports activities beverage trade, they usually can promote on the time period “replenish electrolytes” which is definitely means less complicated to do than they make it out to be.

We’re promised that with out the cautious mixture of electrolytes and substances in Gatorade, we’re going to get dehydrated when exercising and undergo.

Right here’s what occurs: Once 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 mass and efficiency can undergo.

In order that’s the place Gatorade ALLEGEDLY will clear up all your issues.

Right here’s the reality: until you might be 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 may assist doubtlessly, 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 best way 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 completely different combos (mixing in some OJ or utilizing coconut water!)

And similar to that, you may have 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 in all probability been instructed that ingesting caffeinated drinks will dehydrate you.

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

That is one other a kind of bits of standard knowledge that will get blown out of proportion.

Sure, caffeine is a gentle diuretic. Nevertheless, our our bodies are fairly darn good, and since all drinks are composed nearly completely of water, it greater than makes up for the consequences.

As identified right here on this research:[13]

Ingestion of caffeine in giant doses (no 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 recurrently devour tea or espresso. 

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

So espresso can truly assist you 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 Ingesting, 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 rely in direction of hydration, and solely in circumstances of overconsumption can they negatively have an effect on your hydration.

A Be aware on Bottled Water (Put money into 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 median 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 doubtless that your native faucet water is ok!

Test your native authorities for extra data, however if you happen to stay in the USA, chances are high your faucet water is equal or higher to the bottled stuff! Heck Coca-Cola is aware of this, as their Dasani Model is finally filtered faucet water.[15]

Need that bottle of Fiji water as a result of it’s clear and pure and supplies 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 means of a whole lot of plastic bottles of water yearly, and drink the water you have already got accessible to you.

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

Simply don’t exit of your means 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 spend money on a pleasant refillable water bottle. You may even snag a Nerd Health one if you’d like!

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 may have it, the lengthy reply on how a lot water it is best to drink. 

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

On high of that, consuming water earlier than a meal will 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 lot of {dollars} every year on fancy bottled water from glaciers.

Right here’s how typically it is best to drink H2O::

  • Sit back about water, don’t overthink it.
  • Drink whenever you really feel thirsty.
  • In case your pee is a darker colour than regular, drink extra water.
  • Don’t stress about ingesting water neurotically all through the day.
  • Don’t trouble with sports activities drinks until your train is intense, over a number of hours, or in extremely popular circumstances.

I believe that about does it for immediately’s information.

Should you’d like to hitch our neighborhood, 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 individuals to assist them make higher meals decisions, keep accountable, and get more healthy, completely.

You may schedule a free name with our crew 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) In order for you an actual blueprint leveling up your vitamin, try Nerd Health Journey! Our enjoyable habit-building app helps you train extra often, eat more healthy, and degree up your life (actually).

Should you comply with 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 Insurrection! We’ve a free electronic mail publication that we ship out twice per week, stuffed with ideas and tips 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 you want to learn about water?

Let’s hear it.


PS: We stroll about how water suits into a correct eating regimen in our Information to Wholesome Consuming. Test it out if you happen to’re simply embarking on leveling up your vitamin sport.


photograph supply: Han Shot First: Aquaman, jDevaun: Gatorade, RLhyde: Glass,, philografy: bottled water, 27147: espresso cup,, Adventures With My Canines: Waterfall, Urine Shade, 1upLego: Lego Daybreak of Justice Aquaman, Kristina Alexanderson: Perhaps the droids we’re in search of 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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