How much water should I drink every day?

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While the general thinking is that we should all follow the 8×8 rule, or 8 servings of 8 ounces of water (which amounts to 2 quarts daily), the truth is much less black and white.

The 8×8 rule is really an antiquated idea that continues to be espoused as fact. Unfortunately, the rule doesn’t take into account factors like:

  • How much water we need for optimal health. The 8×8 rule was designed for minimal health.
  • The different water intake needs of men and women, different body types, and different ages.
  • We get water from foods we eat, like soup, fruits and vegetables.
  • The fact that it was based on caloric intake, which has increased substantially since the rule was made in 1945.

In any case, it’s been a long time since the scientific community used the 8×8 rule. So how on earth are you supposed to calculate how much water you need?

Well, the Institute of Medicine (the people behind recommended daily allowances), takes these factors into account and recommends

  • About 100 ounces each day for men and about 72 ounces daily for women.

However, while a good guideline, this is not always accurate. At an individual level, you will need more water depending on how active you are. If you’re exercising, you’re going to need more water than otherwise.

Also, depending on the weather where you live, you need to drink more water the more the temperature goes up.

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