How much water should I drink?

The advice from medical professionals regarding drinking water used to be that people should drink eight cups of water a day. If the glasses are 8 ounces, that is 64 ounces. But that does not take into account the differences in average body size for men and women. That led to new advice recommending that men drink 13 cups (104 ounces) and women drink 9 cups (72 ounces).

But that advice has moved on too in order to take into account the differences between individuals - not all women are the same size or shape, and they have different lifestyles. The same applies to men. So the current advice is based on your weight:

You should drink between 0.5 ounces and 1 ounce of water for every pound that you weigh.

So, if you weigh the average for a US woman, 156 pounds, you should drink between 78 ounces and 156 ounces of water a day. If you weigh 196 pounds, the average for a US man, you should drink between 98 ounces and 196 ounces per day.

Your lifestyle and where you live will determine how much water within this range that you should drink. Here are the things you should consider. If any of these apply to you, you will need to drink more than the minimum amount.

  • If you exercise a lot
  • If you live in hot climate
  • If you work outside, particularly when the temperature exceeds 103
  • If you are pregnant
  • If you experience the common signs of dehydration
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