How Much Water Do You Drink Each Day?
How much water is enough to drink in a day? There’s an excellent chance that we’re not coming anywhere near the right amount.
My workplace has been running a challenge all month to encourage people to stay hydrated. But how much water is enough?
The goal of the challenge at my workplace is to drink at least five eight-ounce glasses a day.
Five glasses of water is a challenge in itself! There’s an extra bonus possible for people who drink at least eight. Eight eight-ounce glasses of water. Every day.
As a general rule, I drink two cups of coffee, usually in the morning. Around lunchtime, I’ll have at least one Diet Coke. In between, I’ve started trying to drink more water and then having more water than Diet Coke at home.
The thing is, I’m not all that fond of just plain water.
How much water is too much?
Various websites give different answers. Most, however, give the 8×8 example, which equates to those eight eight-ounce glasses, or a total of 64 ounces a day.
There are a lot of old wives’ tales about the amount of water that’s safe, I’ve found. Some believe that drinking too much water can lead to diabetes, although I’ve found no actual scientific evidence of this.
It’s possible to drink so much water that you suffer “water intoxication,” a condition that’s also known as “water poisoning.” The condition is caused by drinking so much water that the normal balance of electrolytes is disrupted. Believe it or not, it’s a potentially fatal situation.
Medical News Day suggests the risk of water intoxication comes when you drink more than 27-33 ounces of water per hour, on average. That’s the amount of water normally-functioning kidneys are able to release from the body in the same amount of time.
But the amount can vary depending on a person’s age and their kidney functioning, so there’s no clearcut answer.
There’s also a great deal of confusion about how much water one actually needs. Back in 2004, the Food and Nutrition Board said most people take in enough water by letting thirst be their guide.
But when pressed for numbers, they gave general guidelines of 125 ounces of water per day for men and 91 ounces per day for women.
But there was an important catch here. Those amounts included water consumed from food and other beverages, not the amount of pure water alone either gender should consume.
As a general rule, about 20 percent of our water intake comes from food. So reducing those amounts by 20 percent drops the recommendation to 100 ounces for men and 73 ounces for women.
But there’s another catch. Scientists say that 80 percent includes water from other beverages, so there’s still no clear answer.
Enter the 8×8 rule!
Even though doctors may use it as a guideline, it’s not completely scientific.
But it is easy to remember!
Suggesting that everyone drink closer to eight eight-ounce glasses of water, or at least 64 ounces of water a day, almost certainly brings the average person closer to the amount of water we should all be drinking. But in some cases, it still might not be enough.
Still, making an effort to get closer to the ideal amount is better than not trying at all, isn’t it?
So far, I’ve managed to drink at least 40 ounces — that’s five eight-ounce glasses — of water every day this month. I have a water bottle that’s marked off for five eight-ounce servings, so that much is easy. I’ve gotten as high as about 60 ounces of water in a day.
I don’t know that I could stand 64 ounces or more every day. I can’t even imagine 100 ounces a day.
But I’ll see how long I can continue with more hydration after May 1 rolls around.