How Much Water Should You Drink a Day?

Plus a Free Water Intake Calculator & 7 Tips on How to Drink More Water

We’ve all been told to drink at least 8 cups of water a day. But studies show the average American drinks only about half that. Which means most of us could benefit from drinking more water, especially if you’re active.

Furthermore, is 8 cups the right amount for everyone? And, if not, how much water should you drink a day? You’ll find the answer to those questions below.

But before you jump ahead, why should you care about drinking more water in the first place?

Benefits of Drinking Water

Water is the most important nutrient. It’s vital for every function your body performs. And without water, you would die in a few days. Seems like a good reason to get more, right?

Certainly getting enough water is critical for your general health. But water intake also has benefits related to your physical fitness.

  1. Increase performance
  2. Reduce calorie intake
  3. Recover faster

I won’t go into details on all of the benefits here. If you’re interested you can click the links to read the studies.

Next, let’s answer the question “how much water should you drink a day?”

how much water should you drink a day

Image: How much water should you drink a day?

How Much Water Should You Drink a Day?

The basic recommendation of 8 cups equates to 64 ounces of water a day. But we’re all different. So how could it be that simple? The short answer is – it’s not.

Actually, there’s no one number of ounces for everyone. In the same way, there is no one number of calories for everyone. Instead, the answer depends on factors like body size and activity level.

So how much water should I drink?

A good rule is 0.5 ounces per pound of body weight. For example, if you weigh 180 lbs you would target 90 ounces per day.

In addition, you should increase your water intake to 0.75 ounces per pound when you’re more active. This ensures you’re compensating for the water you lose during exercise.

If math isn’t your thing, I’ve got you covered. You can use my calculator below. Just enter your weight and your activity level to calculate your target ounces of water.

Note: This is an estimate based on weight and activity level only. Individual requirements may vary.

This might be a lot more water than you’re used to drinking. If so, try gradually increasing your water intake until you reach your target. Also, a gradual increase gives your body time to adjust so you’re not running to the bathroom every 5 minutes!

Still, it may be hard for you to drink enough water each day. For that reason, here’s a list of 7 tips to make it easier to drink more water.

7 Tips on How to Drink More Water

  1. Drink a glass upon waking

The best time to drink water is first thing in the morning. You’re already thirsty so it’s the perfect time to hydrate and get a head start on the rest of the day.

  1. Keep water nearby

Fill up a bottle of water at the start of the day. Then keep it near you all day long and refill it as soon as it’s empty. You’ll find yourself drinking more water just because it’s accessible!

  1. Get a bigger bottle

A bigger bottle makes you drink more without thinking because you’ll feel the need to finish it. Another benefit is you don’t have to refill it as often.

Similarly, you’ll drink more from a bottle with a larger opening simply because the water comes out faster!

  1. Make it a game

Try to make drinking water more fun. For example, mark lines on the side of your bottle to serve as targets throughout the day. Or make it a rule to finish 1 liter before you can eat lunch, and so on.

  1. Add a little flavor

Some people struggle to drink water because it tastes bland. But don’t let that stop you. Try adding zero sugar flavoring to give it a boost. Better yet, infuse your water with pieces of fruit or a few drops of lemon juice.

  1. Drink before you’re thirsty

By the time you’re thirsty your body has already lost some water. Maybe not to the level of dehydration, but enough to hinder your performance. So be proactive and drink continuously throughout the day even if you’re not thirsty.

  1. Swap out other drinks

Lastly, I encourage you to ditch soda. You’ll be healthier with that one choice. Then cut back on other drinks like coffee, juices, and shakes if you need to.

Additionally, if you’re like me and you drink multiple shakes each day just make them smaller. It’s a simple way to make room for more water.

Now you know why water is so important. You calculated your daily water intake. And you learned how to drink more water.

But why stop there? You can also learn about the other important nutrients you need each day.

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About the Author:

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Jeremy Fox  –  Founder of Nutritioneering, Engineer, CPT, Bodybuilder, Coach