How much water should you drink?
You’ve probably heard the recommendation to drink eight cups of water per day. But the truth is there’s no scientific evidence to support that number.
What is the right number?
Current guidelines don’t specify a set amount of water you should drink each day, and that’s because water needs vary from person to person. How much water you need to drink depends on a variety of factors including
- your age
- your activity level
- the heat and humidity in your environment
- the kinds of food you eat (many fruits and vegetables contain a lot of water) and
- any medical conditions you may have or prescriptions you take.
Are you thirsty?
Ideally you should drink enough water so you don’t become thirsty, but rather than relying on thirst as an indicator, check the color of your urine. If you’re well-hydrated, your urine will be clear or light colored.
People with certain medical conditions may be required to limit their fluid intake. If that’s your case, ask your doctor how much water you should drink each day. Additionally, the ability to be aware of and respond to thirst can weaken as we age.
So, while there’s no single number to cover everyone, a good rule of thumb is to drink water throughout the day and before you get thirsty.