By Kristin Lamb, CHWC
Every day you lose water through sweating, exhaling, urinating and bowel movements. For your body to function properly, you need to replace this water by consuming beverages and foods that contain water. The Institute of Medicine recommends men consume 3 liters (about 13 cups) of beverages each day and women consume 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of beverages each day. These guidelines are based on national food surveys that assessed average fluid intakes.
Another guideline for water intake is the “8 x 8 rule”—drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day (about 1.9 liters). Though this approach isn’t supported by scientific evidence, many people use this basic rule as a guideline for how much water and other fluids to drink.
You can choose any of these fluid intake approaches to gauge your fluid needs. But your current total fluid intake is likely acceptable if you drink enough water to quench your thirst, produce colorless or slightly yellow urine, and feel well.
You may need to modify your total fluid intake from these recommended amounts depending on:
- The amount of exercise you do
- Environmental factors
- Any illnesses or health conditions you may have
- If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding
For more information regarding healthy eating, you can learn about the Nutritional Counseling Program we offer at Riverview Health.