“Drink eight glasses of water” is a phrase I’m sure you’ve heard quite often. But is this entirely true?

Many health experts generally recommend eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day (around 2 litres). This is also commonly known as the 8×8 rule. Further, they recommend you to drink water even when you’re not thirsty. 

The reality is that everybody has different water requirements. How much water you should drink in a day depends on both internal and external factors.

Let’s find out more.

How Much Water You Should Drink in a Day

Typically, you should drink between 2–4 litres of water a day. However, it also depends on several factors. Your biological sex can affect how much water you need. Men usually need 3.7 litres (15.5 cups) of fluids a day on average, whereas women need around 2.7 litres (11.5 cups).

But there are many other factors that can affect how much water you should drink in a day.

Factors That Affect How Much Water You Should Drink in a Day

While you should stick to the bare minimum water intake, you need to consider the following factors to figure out how much water you should drink in a day.

1. Geography and Climate

Hot, humid, or dry areas will require you to drink more water. Higher altitudes will also require a higher water intake.

2. Weather

While summers are typically the season you should increase your water intake, colder weather (especially winters) isn’t an excuse to skimp out on hydration. Both extremes can dehydrate you.

3. Eating Habits

Consuming a lot of caffeine dehydrates you quickly due to an increase in urination. Overly salty, sugary, and spicy foods will also demand you to drink more water.

Hydrating foods such as fruits and vegetables, on the other hand, add more water content to your body.

4. BMI (Body Mass Index)

Your weight determines how much water you should drink in a day. The heavier you are, the more water you’ll need. This is especially true if you’re heavier due to obesity or being more muscular.

Research suggests that people with a higher BMI (body mass index) typically have higher hydration thresholds.

5. Physical Activity

Someone who is more active during the day or even exercises frequently would require more water than someone who sits at their desk or does not involve themselves with strenuous work.

6. Your Personal Health

Your body loses water pretty quickly when you’re sick. An infection or fever leads you to lose fluids either via excessive sweating, vomiting or diarrhoea. A diabetic patient would also require more water. Medications such as diuretics also make the body lose a lot of water.

All in all, it is very important to hydrate your body well regardless of the conditions you are in. 

Water is vital for the body and has several advantages. Let’s look at some of the benefits of drinking water regularly.

Benefits of Drinking Water

Here are just some of the many benefits of staying hydrated throughout the day:

  1. It helps you maintain a normal body temperature.
  2. It eliminates waste from your body through urination, perspiration, and bowel movements.
  3. It protects your delicate tissues.
  4. It serves as a lubricant and cushioning for your joints.
  5. It helps prevent dehydration, so you don’t get exhausted easily.

Now that we know why regular hydration is so important, let’s look at some tips to avoid dehydration.

Tips To Avoid Dehydration

Here are some tips to help you stay healthy and hydrated.

1. Don’t Wait Till You’re Thirsty!

You shouldn’t wait till you’re thirsty to drink water. Thirst isn’t always a sign that you need to hydrate.

Set yourself several “drink-water reminders” (maybe multiple alarms) that’ll remind you to hydrate throughout the day.

2. Hydrate Yourself With Food

Beverages like fruit juices, tea, energy drinks, fruits, and vegetables have higher water content. So if you’re bored of drinking water, switch it up with your favourite fruit juice or munch on a tasty salad!

3. Ease of Access

Keep your water bottle in sight and within arm’s reach.

4. Maintain a Balanced Diet

A balanced diet consisting of enough fruits and veggies will help you stay hydrated throughout the day.

Ultimately, water intake varies from person to person and depends on multiple factors. Just make sure you’re drinking enough fluids throughout the day and maintain a well-balanced diet based on your personal requirements. After all, only you know what’s best for your body! 

Now that you know how much water you should drink in a day and the factors that affect it, go on and pour yourself a glass.

If you want to learn more about the factors that determine how much water you should drink in a day, connect with us at AyuHealth Hospitals and book an appointment with one of our physicians.

Stay healthy, stay hydrated.

About the Author

Dr goel
Dr. S. Goel
MBBS PGDCM FID MBAHHM at Ayu Health | Website | + posts

Dr. S. Goel  is a renowned Internal Medicine Specialist currently practicing at Ayu Health Hospital, Bangalore.  He is a Specialist in Internal Medicine, Diabetes HTN, Paediatric Care, and Family Medicine.