Recommended daily water consumption

You ever try to drink a gallon of water every day? “They” say you should drink eight 8 oz. glasses of water every day to achieve optimal hydration. After a consultation with a nurse following a lifestyle evaluation, I tried doing this and discovered a gallon is a LOT of water to drink every day. I found myself having to force myself to drink in most instances. I hung with it for about a week but quit guzzling a gallon every day when it became evident that the only changes I was experiencing in my life were the number of times I had to go to the bathroom.

This same nurse advised me that drinking coffee and/or beer was a bad idea from a hydration standpoint, as both are diuretics and one actually experiences a net loss in hydration from consuming them.

Anyone else skeptical about the claim one needs to drink at least a gallon of water every day to remain hydrated and healthy?

A gallon is 128 oz. Eight 8 oz. glasses is 64 oz.

Pure bullshit. Your body absorbs about 75% of the water in a cup of tea or coffee. Hardly a “net loss.”

I was told as a child to drink a glass of water every time you pee. Makes sense and works for me!

I watched an Adam Ruins Everything episode a while back that dealt with hydration. According to the show, drinking a gallon of water a day isn’t necessary. Carrying around a water bottle all day to stay hydrated isn’t necessary either. It basically said, drink when you’re thirsty.

I know a couple of people that are constantly after their kids/grandkids to drink water all day long. One of them fills up a giant water bottle - I think it’s a half gallon container and the kids are each required to finish one every day! The kids get so tired of it, they can’t stand it.

Think back to when you were a kid. How much water did you drink every day? I don’t remember EVER drinking water for the sake of drinking water! (I grew up in the 60s & 70s) Unless of course, it was was warm hose water, cuz every kid loves to drink out of the hose!! We all survived and grew into adults.

Right. My bad. I meant half gallon.

You do need about that much water, but you already get most of it without even trying: Food contains a lot of water, and most people are naturally inclined to drink something, too. Almost all liquids we consume are already almost entirely water. Caffeinated and alcoholic beverages are worth less hydration than pure water, because of their diuretic effect, but you have to get into hard booze before they’re a net negative.

Don’t know about beer, but coffee is complicated:

If I’m parsing all that correctly, then:

-a single cup of coffee isn’t particularly diuretic for anyone.

-several cups of coffee can have a diuretic effect on someone who has gone coffee-free for days/weeks.

-several cups of coffee probably doesn’t have a diuretic effect on people who drink coffee on a daily basis.

As for water…I generally drink at least a half-gallon every day, probably quite a bit more.

When I was diagnosed with gout, I was told I would have to give up beer. That wasn’t going to happen, so I searched out alternatives. I read a lot about diuresis as a means of excreting uric acid and began drinking as much water as I could each day. I easily drink a gallon of water each day.

Since increasing my water intake I have had fewer gout attacks than friends who do not drink huge volumes of water. In fact, my only gout attack the last few years was a result of trauma (I kicked a wall in anger, causing a gout flareup in that toe). I drink beer daily and I eat my favorite items from the “do not eat” list.

The only negative is frequent urination. If I do not drink enough water during the day, I make up for it at night. I sometimes have to get up at 1, 3, and 5 am.

“They” are perpetuating a myth. Of course, that much water certainly won’t hurt you (you have to drink an awful lot of water before it starts to be bad for you) but drinking water beyond the minimum you need won’t be of any particular benefit.

I typically drink about half that much water, three to four 10-oz. glasses each day. If I needed 64 oz. a day to stay properly hydrated I’d be dead by now.

The local climate matters too. When my son was in Iraq, the rule of thumb was “if you don’t have to pee you need a drink of water” but that is probably erring on the side of caution.

Not just hot climates either. Dehydration is a serious risk in Antarctica.

I drink a lot of water because I have a bad back, and it gets stiff if I sit too long. If I drink enough water, I get reminded to get up every couple of hours. Unfortunately, that includes at 3 am.


I try to drink a half gallon a day, because I am prone to kidney stones and staying well-hydrated is one of the few ways that I can reduce my chances for another one. A urologist told me the main thing to aim for is that your urine is clear and very pale yellow. If it’s dark yellow you’re not hydrated enough.

Well, yeah and activity level; when I did fruit picking, I’d have a mug of coffee at breakfast, then fill a 4 litre bottle of water for work, which I’d drink over the next 8 hours, plus often something like a can of coke at lunch, on hotter days I’d half refill the 4l bottle from the tap at work and drink that too, then I’d finish work and have a cup of tea as soon as I got in. Sometimes over 6 litres of fluids, 1.3 gallons, and most days this was all without a pee.

That’s only in about 25°C heat, incidentally, we’re not talking desert style boiling alive, just fast paced physical work outside, with no shade.

If I tried drinking that much now without peeing I think my bladder’d explode.

I get kidney stones. The doctor says 96 oz. It’s really not that hard to do. I just fill up a 32 oz. cup first thing in the morning, at lunch and then again at supper. If you get kidney stones even once, you’ll wish that you drank more. :slight_smile:

In basic training (Navy Officer Candidate School) we’d have to periodically empty our canteens. The DI would say “drink!” and we’d all have to drain them and turn them over to prove it. Multiple times per day.

Of course, we were probably burning 8K calories per day or something nuts like that, with the sweating that comes from Pensacola summertime heat.

My doctor says this is BS. I don’t have kidney stones or gout, but for healthy people, drink when you are thirsty. You get water from food, from beer, from coffee, etc. I have my 30 oz mug of tea every morning and, most non-summer days, that is all I will drink and I am never thirsty. I wish I could avoid having to get up a couple times every night to pee.

At the Air Force Academy, they have signs in the restrooms with colored lines that you are supposed to compare your pee to. If it your pee was too dark, water was recommended.

Many days I drink no water at all. Almost everything I drink has either caffeine or alcohol in it. I’m not dead yet.

Speaking of water consumption, I was recently advised that while taking antibiotics for a UTI to bump my water way up. I think I overdid it. Ended up in urgent care with leg and hip cramps so bad I couldn’t walk. I mean, the toes on my right legs, the whole foot, was being forced upwards to my knee and I couldn’t get it loose. Apparently I had depleted my body of all potassium, magnesium and other stuff I need.

I drink a gallon or two each day and I really notice when I have less than 2 liters I don’t feel as good.

I’ve got a 1 liter stein I drink out of and I’ll typically have 3-4 of them while I’m working and then on top of that I’ll drink 3 cups of coffee in my normal day.

Ditto (except almost no alcohol). About 3 or 4 mugs of coffee a day. Period. Unless I work out or something that would cause an inordinate amount of sweating.

The original myth was based off of someone measuring how much water a person consumed throughout the day. Most of which was in the food that was eaten.

Comparing how much water a person in the military needs, or how much an athlete needs, or how much a person with a specific medical condition needs, is a different issue.