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 (possibly 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 talk about it with each single member of our 1-on-1 On-line Teaching Program. We even assign them enjoyable missions to verify 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.

Firstly, sure you want water.

Increase. Article performed. I’m occurring break.

I child, I child.

Water is sweet for you; a good portion of your physique consists of water, and if you lose fluids via sweat, exertion, bodily capabilities, and so on, consuming water may help you replenish fluids.


The entire “8 glasses of water a day” factor will not be legislation. 

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

As we’ve advised you earlier than (the good exercise, the proper weight-reduction plan), we’re all distinctive snowflakes, and all of us require totally different quantities of water!  

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

Any individual that workout routines with regularity and goes on numerous lengthy runs would require extra water than someone who workout routines much less repeatedly. 

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

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

No one actually is aware of.  

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

Based on 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), but it surely additionally famous most of that consumption degree was already happy via 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 might be 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 necessary. 

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

Are you aware what else counts? 


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

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

Very cute.

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

It may very well be much less and it may very well be extra. 

So how a lot precisely do you want?

Truthfully? Drink when you find yourself thirsty. 

That’s it. I’m occurring trip!

Kidding once more. 

Severely although, your thirst is a fairly rattling good indicator of when you must eat extra water. Do you assume 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 inclined to overthink, overanalyze, and drive ourselves loopy with an excessive amount of info.

Now, in case you occur to be a type of folks that wants MORE recommendation than that, test your urine shade.

Bizarre, I do know.

This chart offers a fantastic take a look at for the correct shade of urine: 

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

Issues to think about:

  • You wish to intention (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 might be. 
  • In case your pee comes out a distinct shade altogether, I’d in all probability search medical consideration instantly. You’re welcome 🙂

What in case your pee doesn’t have ANY shade to it? You would possibly truly be “overhydrated,” which we discuss on this part.

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

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

Based on 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 appears to be like darkish yellow
  • Sunken eyes
  • Lethargy

In case you are feeling one or a few of these signs, you could be dehydrated. We wish to take this significantly, as a result of SEVERE dehydration could be horrible on 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 working round that claims “if you’re 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 monitor.

In case you are repeatedly dehydrated, let’s talk about a fast hack to be sure to’re persistently hydrated.

How you can Drink Extra Water

The above video comes from our Day by day Win sequence as a part of Nerd Health Prime

The sequence is predicated on fast actions you’ll be able to take (5 minutes or much less) that will help you construct wholesome 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 allow you to get up to grab the day!

Listed here are some extra ideas for ingesting loads of water:

  • Replenish a water bottle earlier than mattress, depart it in plain sight, and drink it very first thing within the morning.
  • If you happen to don’t just like the style of water, you’ll be able to 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 a lot of our teaching shoppers that water very first thing within the AM helps them really feel extra energized all through their day.

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

Can You Lose Fats by Ingesting Numerous Water? (Weight Loss and Water Consumption)

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

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

Is it legit? 

Is there any proof that ingesting loads of water may help one drop extra pounds?

Eh, there’s just a little!

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

The outcome?[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 may be occurring? 

Listed here are two the explanation why ingesting loads of water would possibly assist with weight reduction:

  1. You’re full. Ingesting water takes up room in your abdomen. There may be 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 might barely increase your metabolism. I’m not speaking a loopy influence right here, however one examine discovered your BMR (Basal Metabolic Fee 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 tackle in our information “Why Can’t I Lose Weight?, our our bodies obey the Legal guidelines of Conservation of Vitality and Thermodynamics: 

To drop extra pounds, we have to burn extra energy than we eat repeatedly. 

The 2 components above would possibly decrease your “energy in” and lift your “energy out” respectively (an idea we talk about in our Information to The CICO Weight loss plan). This may occasionally assist somebody get in form

Nevertheless, I wouldn’t wager the farm (word to self: purchase a farm) on solely ingesting water for weight reduction. Once we highlighted the examine above on water consumption and weight reduction, it’s necessary to keep in mind that the 2 teams have been each on a calorically restricted weight-reduction plan. It’s not like strategically ingesting water alone made individuals drop extra pounds. 

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

  1. How you can Lose Weight With out Weight-reduction plan (The 5 Guidelines of Weight Loss): you’ve in all probability been on a weight-reduction plan earlier than. You would possibly even be on a weight-reduction plan proper now. We talk about why they often don’t work (non permanent modifications create non permanent outcomes) and supply a much less typical however extra everlasting answer (tiny modifications for the win).
  2. Our 1-on-1 On-line Teaching Program: a lot of our shoppers spent years yo-yoing their weight, going from one weight-reduction plan to a different. It’s solely when working with one among our coaches that they have been in a position to 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 might make me really feel full. Why don’t I simply begin pounding water all day lengthy?”

Nice query, my pricey 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 sweet, 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 widespread to see?

From Outdoor[8]:

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

That if the army may very well be inspired to drink extra throughout maneuvers, they’d have much less heatstroke and fewer sickness and so they’d be extra productive and may very well be higher troopers. It was purely his concept. 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] after they have been exercising within the warmth they’d carry out significantly 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 pointers to say that you must now drink 1.9 liters per hour. The identical individuals who drew up these pointers have been then invited by the American School of Sports activities Medication to become involved with drawing up pointers for runners.

In 1996, that culminated with the brand new American pointers,[9] which stated that you have 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 attainable 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 (among the best scams going, which I’ll get to as properly), and you’ve got a advertising engine that gained’t decelerate:

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

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

“Higher secure than sorry!”

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

Wish 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 creating a extreme imbalance of sodium in our system, which may result in a litany of unwanted 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 individuals have been in all probability ingesting 1.2 liters per hour [40 ounces]. They proceed to drink like that for 4 or 5 hours. Now, usually, in case you’re ingesting at that price, you merely go it out as urine. 

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

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

Though they’re sweating, they might be sweating at a price of 20 ounces per hour, however they’re ingesting at a price 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 amassed about 60 to 80 ounces of water in your physique, all your 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 strain, and that ultimately squeezes the arteries supplying blood to the mind. In the end, 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 speedy hazard, it definitely isn’t wholesome.[12]

So, how do you fight this? 

Drink when you find yourself 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 recreation in 96, which tells us that with out Gatorade he wouldn’t have been in a position to 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 recreation: 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 more cash within the sports activities beverage business, and so they 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 components 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 muscular tissues and efficiency can endure.

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

Right here’s the reality: except you might be 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. 

If you happen to ARE exercising for hours upon hours, then further electrolyte merchandise might assist.

In these situations, Gatorade might assist doubtlessly, 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 right here, strive mixing water, honey, salt, and/or lemon juice. Attempt totally different combos (mixing in some OJ or utilizing coconut water!)

And similar to that, you’ve gotten your sodium, some sugars, and rehydration. No fancy advertising 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 assume you’re higher off. 


Water works simply fantastic 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 in all probability been advised that ingesting caffeinated drinks will dehydrate you.

That by consuming caffeinated drinks, you’re truly expelling extra water than you might be consuming.

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

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

As identified right here on this examine:[13]

Ingestion of caffeine in massive doses (at the least 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 even weeks

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

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

So espresso can truly allow you to keep hydrated.

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

What about alcohol? 

Identical factor.

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


  • Drink when you find yourself thirsty. 
  • All liquids you eat depend in direction of hydration, and solely in instances of overconsumption can they negatively have an effect on your hydration.

A Notice 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 particular person in America drank a median of 43.7 gallons of bottled water final 12 months.  
  • Bottled water gross sales elevated by 3.6 % in 2019, and now whole $34.6 billion.


It is extremely possible that your native faucet water is ok!

Examine your native authorities for extra data, however in case you reside 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 in the end filtered faucet water.[15]

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

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

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

If you happen to 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 via 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 along 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 assume it’s going to be more healthy for you, offer you extra of a profit than common water.  

That’s all hype, sucka!

So go spend money on a pleasant refillable water bottle. You’ll be able to even snag a Nerd Health one if you need!

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’ve gotten it, the lengthy reply on how a lot water you must drink. 

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

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

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

Water ought to positively be consumed when you find yourself 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} annually on fancy bottled water from glaciers.

Right here’s how typically you must drink H2O::

  • Relax 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 hassle with sports activities drinks except your train is intense, over a number of hours, or in highly regarded circumstances.

I believe that about does it for right now’s information.

If you happen to’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 On-line Teaching Program: a training program for busy individuals to assist them make higher meals selections, keep accountable, and get more healthy, completely.

You’ll be able to 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 would like an actual blueprint leveling up your vitamin, try Nerd Health Journey! Our enjoyable habit-building app helps you train extra regularly, eat more healthy, and degree up your life (actually).

If you happen to 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 Rise up! We now have a free electronic mail publication that we ship out twice per week, filled with ideas 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 utilize to begin leveling up your life too:

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

Let’s hear it.


PS: We stroll about how water suits into a correct weight-reduction plan in our Information to Wholesome Consuming. Test it out in case you’re simply embarking on leveling up your vitamin recreation.


photograph supply: Han Shot First: Aquaman, jDevaun: Gatorade, RLhyde: Glass,, philografy: bottled water, 27147: espresso cup,, Adventures With My Canine: Waterfall, Urine Colour, 1upLego: Lego Daybreak of Justice Aquaman, Kristina Alexanderson: Perhaps the droids we’re on the lookout for are on the backside of the pool, Jeanne Menjoulet: constructing in a glass of water, Lisa Zins: The Facuet, az: d-136 I’m not simply going too far, I’ve arrived


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