How A lot Water Do I Want? (Information to H2O)


I probably wouldn't drink that.

So that you wish to know, “How a lot water ought to I drink a day?”

The quick reply: drink sufficient to not be thirsty (perhaps barely extra).

The lengthy reply: learn this information for that!

Correct water consumption is a should for well being and health, which is why we focus on it with each single member of our 1-on-1 Online Coaching Program. We even assign them enjoyable missions to ensure they’re adequately hydrated.

Right here’s what we’ll cowl to reply the query, “How a lot water do you actually need?

Pour your self a glass of water (duh), then let’s do that factor!

Ought to You Drink 8 Glasses of Water a Day? (The Controversy)

This is a really cool picture of a glass of water.

At the beginning, sure you want water.

Growth. Article carried out. I’m happening break.

I child, I child.

Water is nice for you; a good portion of your physique consists of water, and if you lose fluids by sweat, exertion, bodily capabilities, and so forth, consuming water will help you replenish fluids.


The entire “8 glasses of water a day” factor isn’t legislation. 

The truth is, there’s no actual proof of this being a correct quantity in any respect.[1]

As we’ve advised you earlier than (the perfect workout, the perfect diet), we’re all distinctive snowflakes, and all of us require completely different quantities of water!  

Chef saying "Everybody's different, but that's okay."

Any individual that workouts with regularity and goes on numerous lengthy runs would require extra water than any individual who workouts much less usually. 

There’s no precise quantity of water that works for every individual.

So the place did this magical “8 glasses of water a day” quantity initially come from?  

No person actually is aware of.  

A gif of Han Solo shrugging, because he doesn't know where that water advice came from either.

In keeping with Snopes[2]:

Again in 1945 the Meals and Vitamin Board of the Nationwide Analysis Council said that adults ought to absorb about 2.5 liters of water per day (which is roughly the equal of eight glasses of water), nevertheless it additionally famous most of that consumption degree was already glad by the consumption of meals with out the necessity for the extra ingesting of water.

That’s proper, you get a SIGNIFICANT quantity of water from the meals you’re consuming. An enormous proportion of our physique is water, an enormous proportion of the planet is water…why wouldn’t an enormous proportion of our meals be water too?

So, sure. Consuming water is vital. 

However the 8 glasses a day case doesn’t maintain water (ha!), as we get a good portion of our day by day H2O from the meals we eat.  Issues like fruits and vegetables (and even meat) are composed of an incredible quantity of water, all of which rely in the direction of our ‘hydration quotient’ for the day.

Have you learnt what else counts? 


Issues like tea, coffee, dreaded sugary drinks, milk, and juices, and even alcoholic beverages. [3] 

How A lot Water a Day Do You Actually Want? (Comply with Your Thirst)

Very cute.

So that you now know you don’t must all the time drink 8 glasses of water.

It could possibly be much less and it could possibly be extra. 

So how a lot precisely do you want?

Truthfully? Drink when you’re thirsty. 

That’s it. I’m happening trip!

Kidding once more. 

Severely although, your thirst is a fairly rattling good indicator of when it’s best to eat extra water. Do you suppose canines and cats and elephants fear about hydration ranges?  

Nope – they merely eat water when their physique tells them that they’re thirsty.

A cute elephant drinking from a hose.


As nerds, we are likely to overthink, overanalyze, and drive ourselves loopy with an excessive amount of info.

Now, should you occur to be a type of those that wants MORE recommendation than that, examine your urine shade.

Bizarre, I do know.

This chart gives a fantastic check for the right shade of urine: 

This chart of urine color can help you decide if you should drink more water or not.
Issues to contemplate:

  • You wish to goal (not actually) for the primary three classes from the highest, or “lemonade” shade.  
  • In case your pee is beginning to resemble Lemon Lime Gatorade (4th class down), you’re dehydrated. From right here, the darker and browner the colour, the extra dehydrated you’re. 
  • In case your pee comes out a unique shade altogether, I’d most likely search medical consideration instantly. You’re welcome 🙂

What in case your pee doesn’t have ANY shade to it? You may really be “overhydrated,” which we speak about in this section.

So what are the telltale indicators that one thing is fallacious, that you’re dehydrated?

A scene from the Three Amigos, where they clearly need more water.

In keeping with the Nationwide Institute of Well being,[4] your major indicators of dehydration are:

  • A sense of thirst (duh)
  • Dry or sticky mouth
  • Low or no urine output; urine seems to be darkish yellow
  • Sunken eyes
  • Lethargy

In case you are feeling one or a few of these signs, you might be dehydrated. We wish to take this severely, as a result of SEVERE dehydration may be horrible to your well being, even leading to a coma.

Not good. So drink water everytime you get thirsty.

A scene from the Three Amigos, when someone finally drinks water.

There’s a fable operating round that claims “in case you are feeling thirsty, it’s too late and also you’re already dehydrated.”

That is additionally not true.[5] In case you are feeling the indicators of dehydration, consuming some water can get you proper again on observe.

In case you are usually dehydrated, let’s focus on a fast hack to be sure you’re persistently hydrated.

Drink Extra Water

The above video comes from our Each day Win collection as a part of Nerd Fitness Prime

The collection is predicated on fast actions you possibly can take (5 minutes or much less) that will help you build healthy habits.

On this video, Coach Lauren walks you thru a fast hack if you end up continually dehydrated through the day: drink a glass of water very first thing within the morning!

That means you can begin off correctly hydrated earlier than the chaos of the day takes over:

A gif of a pirate saying he's too busy to drink water.

It may possibly additionally provide help to get up to grab the day!

Listed below are some extra suggestions for ingesting loads of water:

  • Replenish a water bottle earlier than mattress, go away it in plain sight, and drink it very first thing within the morning.
  • In the event you don’t just like the style of water, you possibly can strive including some cucumber slices and mint leaves to your in a single day bottle. Your morning water will absorb the flavour!
  • If cucumbers or mint ain’t your factor, you would additionally strive some frozen berries or some cut-up lemon.

We’ve heard from lots of our coaching clients that water very first thing within the AM helps them really feel extra energized all through their day.

Subsequent, I wish to deal with a query we get very often from our readers. 

Can You Lose Fats by Ingesting A lot of Water? (Weight Loss and Water Consumption)

A Stormtrooper in water, which is way too much water for him to drink.

It’s frequent recommendation to drink a lot of water for weight reduction. 

Is it legit? 

Is there any proof that ingesting loads of water will help one shed extra pounds?

Eh, there’s slightly!

One examine carried out had two teams go on the identical weight loss program, the one distinction being one group had 500 ml of water (about 17 ounces) half-hour earlier than breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

The consequence?[6]

  • The Water Group: misplaced about 4.4% physique fats
  •  The Non-Mandated Water Group: misplaced about 1.1% physique fats

This isn’t a TREMENDOUS distinction, however it’s attention-grabbing!

Batman is curious on how carbs and fat factor into weight loss.

What is likely to be happening? 

Listed below are two explanation why ingesting loads of water may assist with weight reduction:

  1. You’re full. Ingesting water takes up room in your abdomen. There’s much less room now for meals, but additionally different water like drinks (which can have sugar and hidden energy in it, like fruit juice). 
  2. Water consumption could barely increase your metabolism. I’m not speaking a loopy affect right here, however one examine discovered your BMR (Basal Metabolic Charge or what number of energy you burn at relaxation) is raised by 24% for 60 minutes after ingesting 500 ml (17 oz).[7]

Let’s present some context right here. 

As we deal with in our information “Why Can’t I Lose Weight?, our our bodies obey the Legal guidelines of Conservation of Power and Thermodynamics: 

To shed extra pounds, we have to burn extra energy than we eat usually. 

The 2 elements above may decrease your “energy in” and lift your “energy out” respectively (an idea we focus on in our Guide to The CICO Diet). This will assist somebody get in shape

Nevertheless, I wouldn’t guess the farm (word to self: purchase a farm) on solely ingesting water for weight reduction. After we highlighted the examine above on water consumption and weight reduction, it’s vital to do not forget that the 2 teams have been each on a calorically restricted weight loss program. It’s not like strategically ingesting water alone made folks shed extra pounds. 

In case you are on a weight reduction journey, and questioning what may assist, I’ve two sources so that you can try:

  1. How to Lose Weight Without Dieting (The 5 Rules of Weight Loss): you’ve most likely been on a weight loss program earlier than. You may even be on a weight loss program proper now. We focus on why they often don’t work (short-term modifications create short-term outcomes) and supply a much less standard however extra everlasting answer (tiny modifications for the win).
  2. Our 1-on-1 Online Coaching Program: lots of our purchasers spent years yo-yoing their weight, going from one weight loss program to a different. It’s solely when working with one in all our coaches that they have been capable of obtain sustainable weight reduction. 

Wayne is stoked that he made his small change for weight loss.

I now hear you saying: 

“Okay Steve, I bought it. I don’t wish to be dehydrated, and ingesting water earlier than meals could make me really feel full. Why don’t I simply begin pounding water all day lengthy?”

Nice query, my expensive pal.   

Can I Be Overhydrated? (Too A lot of a Good Factor)

This picture shows a waterfall, which would be too much water to drink.

Whereas being correctly hydrated is nice, it doesn’t imply chugging a gallon of water throughout your health club session is a good suggestion both. 

If not, then why is that this so frequent to see?

From Open air[8]:

A single particular person working for the U.S. army determined that water was a tactical weapon. 

That if the army could possibly be inspired to drink extra throughout maneuvers, they’d have much less heatstroke and fewer sickness they usually’d be extra productive and could possibly be higher troopers. It was purely his thought. It had no scientific foundation in any respect. 

Two years later he revealed a paper supposedly saying that if the US troopers drank 1.9 liters per hour [64 ounces] once they have been exercising within the warmth they might carry out a lot better. There was totally no concrete proof that that was true. 

The issue was, his recommendation was embraced by the U.S. Army. They modified their ingesting tips to say that it’s best to now drink 1.9 liters per hour. The identical individuals who drew up these tips have been then invited by the American Faculty of Sports activities Drugs to get entangled with drawing up tips for runners.

In 1996, that culminated with the brand new American tips,[9] which stated that you will need to drink as a lot as tolerable throughout train, as much as 40 ounces per hour. 

That grew to become the mantra—that you simply needed to drink earlier than you grew to become thirsty, and as a lot as doable throughout train. It was after that the issues of hyponatremia actually turn out to be problematic all over the world.

Mix this with the sports activities beverage business (which I’ll skewer in a minute) and the bottled water business (probably the greatest scams going, which I’ll get to as effectively), and you’ve got a advertising and marketing engine that gained’t decelerate:

“Drink earlier than you’re thirsty or it’s too late.”  

“Operating a marathon?  It’s higher to over hydrate then not drink sufficient!” 

“Higher secure than sorry!”

Really, you CAN overhydrate, and it may be harmful – it’s referred to as hyponatremia, it’s an electrolyte imbalance from an excessive amount of water consumed, and it’s dangerous information bears.[10]

Need to know the individuals who endure from hyponatremia probably the most?

Marathon and ultra-runners.

Batman has to fun whether he likes to or not...part of fighting crime means running 5Ks (ish).

Dr. Timothy Noakes, the writer of Waterlogged, explains that the overconsumption of water can result in our physique growing a extreme imbalance of sodium in our system, which might result in a litany of uncomfortable side effects, even demise.[11]

What Noaks found individuals who have handled instances of exercise-induced hyponatremia:

“What I’ve discovered is that each one of those folks have been most likely ingesting 1.2 liters per hour [40 ounces]. They proceed to drink like that for 4 or 5 hours. Now, usually, should you’re ingesting at that charge, you merely go it out as urine. 

An individual who’s overdrinking will begin passing urine so often that they’ll understand, that is silly. I’m going to cease ingesting.

However what occurs in hyponatremia is that, for some motive, the mind interprets that the individual is dehydrated and secretes the antidiuretic hormone. As a consequence, that stops all urine manufacturing. 

Though they’re sweating, they could be sweating at a charge of 20 ounces per hour, however they’re ingesting at a charge of 40 ounces per hour. Each hour they’re accumulating 20 ounces. You are able to do that for a few hours, however when you’ve collected about 60 to 80 ounces of water in your physique, your entire tissues turn out to be bloated, and the organ that turns into most affected is the mind.

The mind swells, and since it’s in a inflexible cranium, it can’t swell very a lot. The extra it swells, the extra stress, and that ultimately squeezes the arteries supplying blood to the mind. Finally, there’s much less oxygen attending to the mind, and sure elements turn out to be broken.“

Not good. 

One 2002 examine discovered that 13% of Boston Marathon runners skilled hyponatremia. Whereas many expertise hyponatremia with out being in fast hazard, it definitely isn’t wholesome.[12]

So, how do you fight this? 

Drink when you’re thirsty!  

A gif of a cat drinking water


Time to reply your subsequent query: “If ingesting an excessive amount of water causes a problem with sodium imbalances, what about sports activities drinks? They’ve electrolytes and sodium in them!”

Enable me!

Are Sports activities Drinks Extra Hydrating Than Water? (Water, Sugar, Salt, and You)

A picture of Gatorade, which is more or less just sugar water.

Michael Jordan is famously seen ingesting Gatorade throughout his flu sport in 96, which tells us that with out Gatorade he wouldn’t have been capable of play:

Little do they inform you that Michael additionally had one other secret weapon at his disposal that helped him play as much as snuff in that sport: apple sauce!

So why is that well-known industrial all about Gatorade and never about apple sauce? 

One phrase, and it rhymes with “honey.”

It's a shame even scientific studies can be bought.

There’s wayyyy extra money within the sports activities beverage business, they usually can promote on the time period “replenish electrolytes” which is definitely means easier to do than they make it out to be.

We’re promised that with out the cautious mixture of electrolytes and substances in Gatorade, we’re going to get dehydrated when exercising and endure.

Right here’s what occurs: Whenever you sweat, you lose fluids and electrolytes, particularly sodium and chloride (which is why your sweat tastes salty…cease tasting your sweat). Now, if you’re missing fluids and electrolytes, your muscle tissues and efficiency can endure.

In order that’s the place Gatorade ALLEGEDLY will clear up your entire issues.

Right here’s the reality: until you’re exercising for hours and hours and hours, your electrolyte imbalance is not going to trigger a drop in efficiency. In case you are exercising for an hour or much less, some sips of water to quench your thirst is greater than sufficient. 

In the event you ARE exercising for hours upon hours, then further electrolyte merchandise could assist.

In these cases, Gatorade may assist probably, however there’s nothing in Gatorade that’s magic. It’s sugar, water, sodium, potassium, after which some synthetic and pure flavoring to make it style and look the way in which it does.

Need the advantages of Gatorade whereas in your marathon run with out having to purchase Gatorade? Make your individual!

As Al Kavado talks about here, strive mixing water, honey, salt, and/or lemon juice. Attempt completely different combos (mixing in some OJ or utilizing coconut water!)

And similar to that, you could have your sodium, some sugars, and rehydration. No fancy advertising and marketing required.


Do some boring cardio for 20 minutes (which burns a minimal variety of energy), after which chug a 32 oz Gatorade (200 energy and 50+ grams of sugar!) and suppose you’re higher off. 


Water works simply positive for 98% of the actions you’ll ever do.

Does Espresso Dehydrate You? (Caffeine as a Diuretic)

This pictured cup of coffee will indeed hydrate you, because it has so much water.

Time to place the myth-busting cap again on: You’ve most likely been advised that ingesting caffeinated drinks will dehydrate you.

That by consuming caffeinated drinks, you’re really expelling extra water than you’re consuming.

That is one other a type of bits of standard knowledge that will get blown out of proportion.

Sure, caffeine is a light diuretic. Nevertheless, our our bodies are fairly darn good, and since all drinks are composed nearly completely of water, it greater than makes up for the consequences.

As identified right here on this examine:[13]

Ingestion of caffeine in giant doses (not less than 250-300 mg, equal to the quantity present in 2-3 cups of espresso or 5-8 cups of tea) leads to a short-term stimulation of urine output in people who’ve been deprived of caffeine for a interval of days or perhaps weeks

A profound tolerance to the diuretic and different results of caffeine develops, nonetheless, and the actions are a lot diminished in people who usually eat tea or espresso. 

Doses of caffeine equal to the quantity usually present in commonplace servings of tea, espresso and carbonated delicate drinks seem to haven’t any diuretic motion.

So espresso can really provide help to keep hydrated.

A gif of Bill Murray drinking coffee, but ah, maybe use a cup though.

What about alcohol? 

Similar factor.

Alcohol has diuretic properties, however solely causes dehydration when consumed at past regular ranges. (Right here’s our Guide to Drinking, which covers our ideas on being a match nerd that may nonetheless get pleasure from an occasional cocktail.)


  • Drink when you’re thirsty. 
  • All liquids you eat rely in the direction of hydration, and solely in instances of overconsumption can they negatively have an effect on your hydration.

A Observe on Bottled Water (Spend money on a Water Filter)

A picture of a bottle of water, which you should only buy if you have to.

In 2019, whole U.S. bottled water consumption elevated to 14.4 billion gallons, up from 9.1 billion gallons in 2011.[14]

  • Each individual in America drank a mean of 43.7 gallons of bottled water final yr.  
  • Bottled water gross sales elevated by 3.6 p.c in 2019, and now whole $34.6 billion.


It is vitally seemingly that your native faucet water is okay!

Verify your native authorities for extra info, however should you stay in the USA, chances are high your faucet water is equal or higher to the bottled stuff! Heck Coca-Cola is aware of this, as their Dasani Model is finally filtered faucet water.[15]

Need that bottle of Fiji water as a result of it’s clear and pure and gives you with magical skills like a waterbender?

Drinking Fiji water probably isn't going to turn you into this waterbender from Avatar.

There’s much less arsenic in Cleveland Faucet water than Fiji water![16] A lot inexpensive too 🙂

In the event you don’t just like the style of, or are involved about your native faucet water, strive a Brita filter or one thing equal. Cease going by tons of of plastic bottles of water yearly, and drink the water you have already got obtainable to you.

Sure, if the selection is between no beverage, a Coke, or a bottle of water, go together with the bottled water!

Simply don’t exit of your means to purchase water from the polar ice caps, Hoth glaciers, or the Swiss Alps since you suppose it’s going to be more healthy for you, give you extra of a profit than common water.  

That’s all hype, sucka!

So go spend money on a pleasant refillable water bottle. You may even snag a Nerd Fitness one if you’d like!

Picture of a Nerd Fitness water bottle

Staying Correctly Hydrated (Subsequent Steps)

A picture of a glass of water, which you should drink when thirsty.

There you could have it, the lengthy reply on how a lot water it’s best to drink. 

Water retains your physique functioning correctly. Eat it if you really feel the necessity and your thirst can be quenched, your physique will keep regulated, and you’ll stay to see tomorrow.

On prime of that, consuming water earlier than a meal will help you’re feeling fuller and thus stop you from overeating. 

If this works for you, hold doing what you’re doing!

Water ought to undoubtedly be consumed when you’re thirsty!  

Pikachu drinking water, but maybe you shouldn't drink out of a stream though.

However the significance of water has been overblown, and also you don’t must spend tons of of {dollars} every year on fancy bottled water from glaciers.

Right here’s how usually it’s best to drink H2O::

  • Sit back about water, don’t overthink it.
  • Drink if you really feel thirsty.
  • In case your pee is a darker shade than regular, drink extra water.
  • Don’t stress about ingesting water neurotically all through the day.
  • Don’t trouble with sports activities drinks until your train is intense, over a number of hours, or in very popular situations.

I feel that about does it for at present’s information.

In the event you’d like to affix our group, I’ve 3 ways so that you can proceed your journey with Nerd Health:

#1) Our 1-on-1 Online Coaching Program: a training program for busy folks to assist them make higher meals decisions, keep accountable, and get more healthy, completely.

You may schedule a free name with our workforce so we are able to get to know you and see if our teaching program is best for you. Simply click on on the picture beneath for extra particulars:

Your NF Coach can help you lose weight and get healthy!

#2) If you’d like an actual blueprint leveling up your diet, try Nerd Health Journey! Our enjoyable habit-building app helps you train extra often, eat more healthy, and degree up your life (actually).

In the event you comply with our Vitamin missions, you’ll study to drink extra water whereas incomes XP! Sah-weeeet.

Attempt your free trial proper right here:

#3) Be part of The Insurrection! We’ve got a free electronic mail e-newsletter that we ship out twice per week, stuffed with suggestions and tips that will help you get wholesome, get sturdy, and have enjoyable doing so. 

I’ll additionally ship you tons of free guides that you should use to begin leveling up your life too:

Have any extra questions for me?  What else do it’s good to learn about water?

Let’s hear it.


PS: We stroll about how water suits into a correct weight loss program in our Guide to Healthy Eating. Test it out should you’re simply embarking on leveling up your diet sport.


photograph supply: Han Shot First: Aquaman, jDevaun: Gatorade, RLhyde: Glass,, philografy: bottled water, 27147: coffee cup,, Adventures With My Dogs: Waterfall, Urine Color, 1upLego: Lego Dawn of Justice Aquaman, Kristina Alexanderson: Maybe the droids we’re looking for are at the bottom of the pool, Jeanne Menjoulet: building in a glass of water, Lisa Zins: The Facuet, az: d-136 I’m not just going too far, I’ve arrived


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