The general recommendation is approximately 8-10 glasses of water a day, which is about 2 liters. The latest dietary reference intake report by the United States National Research Council in general recommended (including food sources): 2.7 liters of water total for women and 3.7 liters for men. Also noted is that normally, about 20 percent of water intake comes from food, while the rest comes from drinking water and beverages.
There are a variety of reasons to drink plenty of water each day. Adequate water intake prevents dehydration, cleans out the body, and promotes healing processes. Substituting water for beverages high in calories can also help control weight. Follow the steps below to make sure you're getting enough of this most basic necessity.
- Determine how much water you need. You've probably heard the "8 by 8" rule - drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day (2 quarts, 1.8 liters) - but the amount of water a person needs varies depending on his or her weight and activity level. Another way to determine your specific recommended water intake is to divide your weight (in pounds) by two. The resulting number is the number of ounces of water you need each day. For example, if you weigh 150 lbs., strive to drink 75 ounces of water daily. For those who use the Metric system, divide your weight (in kilograms) by 30 (ex. somebody weighing 70 kg is going to need 2.3 liters per day). Keep in mind that these recommended intake numbers are controversial and some experts believe they are a gross exaggeration. See "warnings" below for more information.
- Measure your daily intake of water. Do this for a few days. If you find that you're drinking less than the recommended quantity, try some of the following tips:
- Carry water with you everywhere you go in a bottle or other container. Note here that recent research continuously shows plastic bottles leach toxic chemicals into water. It is highly recommended that one use glass containers such as an old Pierre bottle. Begin keeping all your glass bottles, and soon you'll find the ideal glass bottle for you. Remember, water will never become toxic in glass containers! Before long, you'll find yourself reaching for it without a second thought.
- Keep a glass or cup of water next to you whenever you'll be sitting down for a long time, such as when you're at your desk at work. Drink from it regularly as you're working.
- Try wearing a digital watch that beeps at the beginning of each hour. Use that as a reminder to pour yourself a glass of water. Vow to drink that water before the next beep. If you drink only one small (6 ounce or 180 ml) cup per hour, you'll have consumed 48 ounces (1.4 liters) by the end of an 8-hour workday.
- Get a water purification system. Purified water tastes very good and may help make drinking water more appealing to you. Be aware, though, that as you grow accustomed to purified water, you may find that tap water leaves a bad taste in your mouth, even though it may be better for your teeth. Be aware, however, that Fluoride is a known toxin
- Add lemons or limes to your water. This makes it taste better and makes you want to drink more of it. Be careful not to make it too sour, just a splash of sourness should do the trick. Cucumber slices can also be added to a glass of water. Some mint leaves can be added to a pitcher of water which should be allowed to sit overnight. These are cheap alternatives to the bottled flavored water.
- Eat water rich foods, such as fruits like watermelon, which is 92% water by weight. Blend up some seedless fresh watermelon flesh with some ice and place a few sprigs of mint (optional) - one of the most refreshing drinks, especially for the summertime. Cranberry juice is also another option, and has a bitter taste. Patients suffering from urinary infection caused by insufficient intake of water should drink cranberry juice and eat watermelon if not plain water everyday. A tomato is 95% water. An egg is about 74% water. An uncooked piece of lean meat is about 70% water.
- Keep water cold if it tastes better for you. Keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator at home. Add ice or freeze water in a sports bottle before taking it with you, it will eventually melt and stay cold. However, too cold water will cost your body energy to heat it to body temperature.
- Buy bottled water and drink it. When you're done with the bottle don't throw it away. Refill it with water at work or at home. When doing this, you trick your mind slightly into thinking that you're still drinking the expensive bottle of water you just bought. This method has been tested for a month and works well. Just make sure to wash the bottle with a baby bottle brush if you can or just buy a new bottle every week or two. Make sure to buy at least 1 to 1.5 liter bottle of water. It is worth it. Further note here, as mentioned in step 3 above, using glass bottles is the ideal. Reusing plastic bottles is a transitory phase. Evolve to reusing glass bottles to prevent self induced toxic poisoning from chemicals that leach from plastic containers.
- Climate can drastically change how much water you need. On hot days that require you to be outside, you should drink more water to counteract the fluids you lose when you sweat. This not only keeps your body hydrated, it can prevent heat-related illness.