The key chemical component of your body, water comprises around 50-70% of the body weight and is essential for survival. The body needs water for efficient functioning and lack of it can cause you to become dehydrated. To stay well hydrated, you must ensure that you drink plenty of fluids. So, how many bottles of water should you drink per day?
How Many Bottles of Water You Should Drink Per Day: Short Summary
If you’re wondering how many bottles of water you should drink per day and are unsure about the ideal amount, then there is no hard and fast rule for this. The idea is to get sufficient water to replace the amount the body loses throughout the day and remain healthy.
In this article, we’ll discuss the 8×8 rule of water intake, the benefits of drinking adequate water, factors affecting your water intake and various sources of water. So read on…
The 8×8 rule
Known as the 8×8 rule, this is what we have heard most of our lives. Most health experts recommend that you should drink 8×8 oz glasses of water per day, which is essentially around 2 liters or ½ a gallon of water per day.
When you consider the origin of the 8×8 rule, it is probably based on the theory that for every calorie of food you consume, your fluid intake must be 1 ml. And, considering a diet of 2,000 calories a day, this works to around 2,000 ml (64 oz) of fluid or 8, 8 oz glasses. However, in recent years, research reveals that this is a very broad recommendation and may not be suitable for everyone.
While this amount of water may be too much for certain people, for others, this may not be enough. So, when you consider the daily water consumption, the one-size-fits-all approach does not work and the amount of water you drink depends on many factors, including your individual needs.
Benefits of Drinking Enough Water?
Before we discuss how much water is necessary for you and how much you should be drinking per day, let’s take a look at why water is important and how it helps our bodies. Water is vital to the body to ensure its proper and efficient functioning.
Essential for overall health, here are some benefits of water:
- Helps in digestion
- Transports oxygen and nutrients to all the cells
- Helps to remove waste via the sweat and urine
- Prevent constipation
- Regulates the body temperature
- Maintains the electrolyte balance in the body
- Helps to stabilize the heartbeat and blood pressure
- Aids in weight loss
- Helps to maintain healthy joints and supports efficient joint function
- Reduces the risk for various diseases such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, kidney stones and cancer
How Much Water Do You Require?
As per the guidelines of the National Academies of Sciences, women require around 11.5 cups or 2.7 liters of water per day, while men require around 15.5 cups or 3.7 liters per day. However, this includes fluids from all sources, including water, beverages, fruits, vegetables and other foods. In fact, around 20% of the water is from food.
The amount of water you need depends on many factors including:
- Your Diet: The amount of water you need depends a lot on your diet. For instance, if your diet consists of very spicy, salty or sugary foods or you drink a lot of caffeinated beverages like coffee, etc. and lose a lot of water via urine or you don’t eat fresh or cooked veggies and fruits that have high water content, then you will need to drink more water.
- Season or Temperature: You may need to drink more water in the warmer months when you tend to perspire more compared to the cooler, winter months.
- Area You Live: If you live in a dry, hot, humid, high-altitude area or the mountains, then you will need to drink more water.
- Environment: If you’re outdoors in the sun most of the time or spend a lot of time in a heated room or hot temperatures, then you may feel thirsty frequently and may need to drink water more often.
- Activity: If you are very active all through the day, stand or walk a lot, you will need more water compared to if you are sedentary. Doing intense activity or exercise can result in more water loss and you will need to drink more water to compensate for this.
- Health Conditions: You may need more water if you suffer from certain health conditions like diabetes. If you’re having a fever or infection, diarrhea or vomiting, you may require to drink more water to replace the lost fluids. If you’re on certain medications such as diuretics, then you may need to drink more water to replace the water that is lost due to frequent urination.
- Pregnant or Nursing: You need to drink more water to be well hydrated if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding your baby.
- Age: As you grow older, your thirst mechanism can begin to break down and so, people over the age of 65 must monitor their water intake because the risk of dehydration increases with age.
What about the 8 Glasses of Water a Day Recommendation?
As we have discussed above, the daily water requirements differ from one individual to another and a general rule that one should drink 8, 8 oz glasses of water may not apply to all.
The important thing to understand is that maintaining the water balance in the body is essential for survival. However, your body is good at self-regulation.
It works to maintain the balance of the water that comes in and goes out, which means the more water you drink, the more is excreted and the less you drink, the lesser amount is excreted.
Also, as we mentioned earlier, various factors determine the amount of water you must drink. For instance, if you consume more protein and sodium, the more water you should drink vis-à-vis if you eat plenty of veggies and fruits, then you need not drink as much water.
In addition, the body contains the hormone, arginine vasopressin, which helps to regulate the water in the body and manages the fluid excretion, thirst and water balance in the body. Your body knows how to balance the water level and will give you the signal telling you to drink less or more fluids as needed.
How Many Bottles of Water Do You Need Per Day?
So, if you go by the general water rule of drinking 8 x 8 oz glasses of water a day, let’s calculate and see how many bottles of water do you need per day. For this, let’s consider a standard bottle of water. Considering that a regular bottle of bottled water is around 16.9 fl. oz., you will require around 4 bottles of water per person per day.
And, if you consider a family of 4 members, then you will require 16 bottles of water a day for all the members. If you go water shopping once a week, then you will need to buy, carry and store 112 bottles of water per week, which translates to a whopping 5,824 bottles of water for a family of 4 per year.
Other Sources of Water
Often, we chug down several bottles of water a day to fulfill the daily recommended quota; however, this is not necessary at all. Water is not the only sole contributor to maintaining your fluid balance and ensuring that you’re well hydrated. There are many other foods and drinks that can contribute to your daily fluid requirement.
Beverages like juice, tea, sports drinks, coffee and other beverages can contribute to your daily fluid consumption. Contrary to the belief that caffeinated beverages such as coffee and tea have diuretic effects, causing extra urination, these beverages also help to add water to the body.
All the foods you eat contain different levels of water including veggies, fruits, fish, meat and eggs and contribute to the water intake. So, drinking water, beverages and eating foods with high-water content can help to maintain the fluid balance in your body.
Is Drinking Too Much Water Dangerous?
Often, people are concerned that drinking too much water can be harmful. In general, it is recommended that you should not drink more than 27 to 33 oz of water an hour and drinking more than this amount can cause overhydration.
There are cases when overhydration can be dangerous, leading to a condition called hyponatremia or water intoxication, which causes the sodium levels in the blood to drop to very low levels, causing an imbalance in the cells.
Symptoms of overhydration include lung congestion, headache, brain swelling, vomiting, confusion, lethargy, fatigue, coma and even death. However, this condition of overhydration is quite rare and is only seen in endurance athletes like marathon runners, people taking certain medications, older people or people suffering from diabetes.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to Know If I Am Drinking Enough Water?
If you are not thirsty, if your urine is a pale yellow color, if you pass urine around 6 to 8 times a day, if your tongue and mouth feel moist and if your skin is soft, supple and glowing, these are signs that you’re getting adequate water.
What are the signs of dehydration?
Some of the symptoms of dehydration include dry mouth and lips, thirst, headache, mood changes, dizziness, feeling tired and weak, increase in body temperature, rapid heartbeat and/or breathing, trouble focusing and smelly or dark-yellow-colored urine.
Can drinking water aid in weight loss?
Drinking water can aid in weight loss. Drinking water helps you to feel full and so you tend to eat less. And, drinking water will prevent you from indulging in sugary beverages with higher or empty calories and all this can help you lose weight.
Does water consumption affect brain function?
It is seen that drinking adequate water and being well hydrated can boost brain function. It can help to stabilize your mood, boost mood, improve focus and concentration, enhance memory, improve cognition, reduce stress and prevent headaches.
Can water impact your energy levels?
Water can affect your energy levels. If you’re dehydrated, then you end up feeling sluggish, lethargic and tired. Being well hydrated boosts your energy levels and ensures that your cells are functioning efficiently.
In conclusion, there is no exact math to tell you how much water your body needs because it depends on various factors based on your size, age, activities, temperature, season, etc. Some people may need more water, while others may do with a lot less.
So, the question of arriving at the amount of water you need is mostly by trial and error. You can get your daily quota of fluids by drinking water and also from beverages and foods with high water content. And, by doing this you can ensure that you are well hydrated, which is good for your overall health and well-being.