Recommended daily water consumption

I’m another one drinking lots more water than I used to because of a kidney stone. I was originally targeting 2 liters a day, but I’ve stopped measuring now that I’m in the habit of always having a glass of water nearby. It’s held off a repeat for over 10 years now.

An interesting thing: Throughout my life I was prone to minor but annoying headaches that would often come on toward the end of a day, particularly when I was more active than usual. Those essentially stopped once I upped my water intake, so my guess is that they were being brought on by (minor) dehydration.

Emphasis mine. This.

In my military days I trained a lot in the desert. Urine color is a quick guide for your How Much Do You Need? That, and also if you let your thirst tell you when to drink, it’s not soon enough. Don’t wait for that.

I’d heard that the Israeli Army soldiers would start their day by drinking a quart of water, and then keep drinking throughout the day. That might be a myth but it’s a good guide.

Yeah, but how hard does the booze need to be before it’s a net negative? I asked that question here 12 years ago but never got a concrete answer. If you happen to know, please zombify the thread. :slight_smile:

Oh, and apparently you made the same claim last year, and I made the same challenge, and you never responded.

I expect that the precise level varies from person to person. But I’m not any sort of medical or biological professional.

“It’s complicated” would be my guess. Alcohol suppresses the production of AntiDiuretic Hormone (aka ADH or Vasopressin) by the hypothalamus/pituitary (production in hypothalamus, storage/release by pituitary) . The effects of ADH vary from individual to individual due to differences in blood pressure, the health of the kidneys, etc.

Some smart person in here already gave the best advice: Drink when you’re thirsty.

One tip I read was that your lips and mouth tissues should feel moist all the time. If they don’t, probably you’re not drinking enough. Otherwise, you’re probably fine.

If you think you’re dehydrated, and you think you’ve been dehydrated, increase your water consumption, but start slow. Your body tissues are dried out, like a desert arroyo, which is like concrete. What happens when there’s a flash flood? The water sluices right through, right? Start slow, give your body 2-3 weeks to get used to the increase.

I think the most important part of that article was the start of the closing paragraph:

(Bolding mine.)

And I’m actually surprised at the date of that article – 2015. That means I’ve been seeing similar debunking articles for over 20 years – Princeton studies, Harvard Medical Review studies, Lancet studies on and on and on and on…

“THEY” are peddling water or “THEY” have fallen for the tired old disproven pseudoscience that suggests Wait at least 30 Minutes After a Meal Before You Go Swimming and Don’t Have Sex before a Competition and Rub Margarine or Butter on a Burn so it Will Heal Faster.

When I was in high school I drank about 3 quarts of liquid (water, juice, soda) a day. But then I was cycling for PE class, fencing in the afternoons, and training in karate throughout the week. Now I watch a computer screen all day in an air-conditioned room. There’s no way I need even half that amount of water for my activity level.

It’s worth emphasizing again that the amount a person should drink…


Supposedly the concept of 8 glasses of water a day started because it was determined that you need 1ml of water per calorie eaten per day. So if you eat 2000 calories of food, that is 2000ml of water, which is about 8 glasses.

If you’re having trouble getting down enough liquids, drink gatorade or powerade. I can easily chug a 32oz bottle of that in a minute or two. That goes down far easier than other liquids in my experience.

Also ‘water’ should include any liquid you drink. Coffee and soda count as water as much as tap water does. Plus food has a lot of water in it, and that counts too.

Some people search obsessively for the Magic Health Bullet, latching onto whatever they think will shoot Death in the face for them. I think the super-hydration people are sort of the lite version of the “detox” people. “Wash all the bad stuff out” instead of “scour/bleach all the bad stuff out”.

The human body has internal signaling for a reason. It’s pretty good at telling us when it needs one of the basic necessities, like food or water, though that isn’t necessarily true for more subtle things. Sensible people in this thread have already given the sensible advice, but I’ll sum it up:

  1. Drink if you’re thirsty.
  2. Drink about half an hour before beginning to engage in prolonged exertion.
  3. Drink a little at intervals during prolonged exertion, whenever you feel like you need a break.
  4. Drink if you notice that your pee looks like orange juice.

It varies for the individual but I drink a gallon during a normal work day. I know because I go through four 32 oz. bottled waters. On the weekends I probably forget to drink enough but I also have tea and coffee. Caffeine consumption, which I limit to a specific window on weekdays, can cause increased thirst. Other things can as well. I am usually thirsty if I am active and need a water bottle around at all times.

My maintenance level is around 4000 calories, which seems higher than most people. Maybe it’s related.

There are a lot of variables, but my physiology prof in college had it right. He said the amount of water you need will vary from day to day, and even hour to hour, but luckily we have a special biological gauge we can use to determine how much water we need at any particular time. It’s call thirst. If you are thirsty drink water, if you aren’t thirsty don’t drink anything. Can’t be any simpler than that.

I drink water and weak unsweetened tea all day. I easily drink more than a gallon a day. I am always thirsty. I am T1 diabetic though. So that’s the reason. A healthy individual should just drink when you need to, I assume.

My maintenance is also around 4000 calories and I also drink about a gallon a day (normally I’ll drink a 2 liter of diet soda, several cups of decaf coffee and a few glasses of other liquids during a day). I’ve had people tell me that I should only drink half that, but my body is telling me I need a gallon of fluids a day for a reason.