I probably wouldn't drink that.

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

The brief 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 ensure they’re adequately hydrated.

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

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.

Before everything, sure you want water.

Growth. 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 while you lose fluids by way of sweat, exertion, bodily capabilities, and so on, consuming water will help you replenish fluids.


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

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

As we’ve instructed you earlier than (the excellent exercise, the right weight loss program), 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 person that workouts with regularity and goes on a number of lengthy runs would require extra water than any individual who workouts much less recurrently. 

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.

In accordance with Snopes[2]:

Again in 1945 the Meals and Diet Board of the Nationwide Analysis Council acknowledged that adults ought to absorb about 2.5 liters of water per day (which is roughly the equal of eight glasses of water), however it additionally famous most of that consumption stage was already happy by way of the consumption of meals with out the necessity for the extra consuming of water.

That’s proper, you get a SIGNIFICANT quantity of water from the meals you might be consuming. An enormous share of our physique is water, an enormous share of the planet is water…why wouldn’t an enormous share 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 every day H2O from the meals we devour.  Issues like fruits and greens (and even meat) are composed of an incredible quantity of water, all of which depend in the 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? (Comply with Your Thirst)

Very cute.

So that you now know you don’t have to 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?

Actually? Drink when you find yourself thirsty. 

That’s it. I’m occurring trip!

Kidding once more. 

Critically although, your thirst is a reasonably rattling good indicator of when you need to devour extra water. Do you suppose canines and cats and elephants fear about hydration ranges?  

Nope – they merely devour 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 people who wants MORE recommendation than that, examine your urine coloration.

Bizarre, I do know.

This chart offers an ideal take a look at 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 need to intention (not actually) for the primary three classes from the highest, or “lemonade” coloration.  
  • 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 coloration altogether, I might in all probability search medical consideration instantly. You’re welcome 🙂

What in case your pee doesn’t have ANY coloration to it? You would possibly really 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.

In accordance with the Nationwide Institute of Well being,[4] your main 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

If you’re feeling one or a few of these signs, you might be dehydrated. We need to take this significantly, as a result of SEVERE dehydration may 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 “in case you are feeling thirsty, it’s too late and also you’re already dehydrated.”

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

If you’re recurrently dehydrated, let’s talk about a fast hack to ensure you’re persistently hydrated.

The right way to Drink Extra Water

The above video comes from our Every day Win collection as a part of Nerd Health Prime

The collection relies on fast actions you possibly can take (5 minutes or much less) that can assist you construct wholesome habits.

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

That manner 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 might additionally assist you get up to grab the day!

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

  • Refill 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 attempt including some cucumber slices and mint leaves to your in a single day bottle. Your morning water will take in the flavour!
  • If cucumbers or mint ain’t your factor, you could possibly additionally attempt some frozen berries or some cut-up lemon.

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

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

Can You Lose Fats by Ingesting A number of 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 number of water for weight reduction. 

Is it legit? 

Is there any proof that consuming loads of water will help one drop extra pounds?

Eh, there’s somewhat!

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 end result?[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 fascinating!

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

What could be occurring? 

Listed here are two the explanation why consuming loads of water would possibly 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 in addition 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 Price or what number of energy you burn at relaxation) is raised by 24% for 60 minutes after consuming 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 drop extra pounds, we have to burn extra energy than we devour recurrently. 

The 2 elements 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-reduction plan). This may occasionally assist somebody get in form

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

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

  1. The right way to Lose Weight With out Weight-reduction plan (The 5 Guidelines of Weight Loss): you’ve in all probability been on a weight loss program earlier than. You would possibly even be on a weight loss program proper now. We talk about why they often don’t work (short-term modifications create short-term 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: lots of our shoppers spent years yo-yoing their weight, going from one weight loss program to a different. It’s solely when working with certainly one of 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 acquired it. I don’t need to be dehydrated, and consuming 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 buddy.   

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 gymnasium session is a good suggestion both. 

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

From Outside[8]:

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

That if the navy 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 printed 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 might carry out a lot better. There was completely no concrete proof that that was true. 

The issue was, his recommendation was embraced by the U.S. Navy. They modified their consuming tips to say that you need to now drink 1.9 liters per hour. The identical individuals who drew up these tips have been then invited by the American School of Sports activities Medication to get entangled with drawing up tips for runners.

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

That turned the mantra—that you simply needed to drink earlier than you turned thirsty, and as a lot as doable throughout train. It was after that the issues of hyponatremia actually change into 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 (the most effective scams going, which I’ll get to as nicely), and you’ve got a advertising and marketing engine that received’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 known as hyponatremia, it’s an electrolyte imbalance from an excessive amount of water consumed, and it’s unhealthy 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 creator 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 unwanted side effects, even loss of life.[11]

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

“What I’ve discovered is that every one of those folks have been in all probability consuming 1.2 liters per hour [40 ounces]. They proceed to drink like that for 4 or 5 hours. Now, usually, in case you’re consuming at that fee, you merely move it out as urine. 

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

However what occurs in hyponatremia is that, for some motive, 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 fee of 20 ounces per hour, however they’re consuming at a fee 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 gathered about 60 to 80 ounces of water in your physique, your entire tissues change into 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 finally squeezes the arteries supplying blood to the mind. Finally, there’s much less oxygen attending to the mind, and sure elements change into 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 find yourself thirsty!  

A gif of a cat drinking water


Time to reply your subsequent query: “If consuming 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 consuming 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 let you know 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, and so they can promote on the time period “replenish electrolytes” which is definitely manner easier to do than they make it out to be.

We’re promised that with out the cautious mixture of electrolytes and elements 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, while you’re missing fluids and electrolytes, your muscle groups and efficiency can endure.

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

Right here’s the reality: until you might be exercising for hours and hours and hours, your electrolyte imbalance won’t trigger a drop in efficiency. If you’re 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 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 personal!

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

And identical to that, you have got 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 in all probability been instructed that consuming caffeinated drinks will dehydrate you.

That by consuming caffeinated drinks, you’re really 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. Nonetheless, our our bodies are fairly darn sensible, and since all drinks are composed nearly totally of water, it greater than makes up for the consequences.

As identified right here on this examine:[13]

Ingestion of caffeine in giant doses (at the least 250-300 mg, equal to the quantity present in 2-3 cups of espresso or 5-8 cups of tea) ends in 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 recurrently devour tea or espresso. 

Doses of caffeine equal to the quantity usually present in normal servings of tea, espresso and carbonated smooth drinks seem to don’t have any diuretic motion.

So espresso can really assist you 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 get pleasure from an occasional cocktail.)


  • Drink when you find yourself thirsty. 
  • All liquids you devour depend 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 particular person in America drank a median of 43.7 gallons of bottled water final yr.  
  • Bottled water gross sales elevated by 3.6 % in 2019, and now whole $34.6 billion.


It is extremely probably that your native faucet water is okay!

Verify 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 finally filtered faucet water.[15]

Need that bottle of Fiji water as a result of it’s clear and pure and offers 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, attempt a Brita filter or one thing equal. Cease going by way of lots 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 manner 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’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 have got it, the lengthy reply on how a lot water you need to drink. 

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

On high 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 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 have to spend lots of of {dollars} annually on fancy bottled water from glaciers.

Right here’s how typically you need to drink H2O::

  • Relax about water, don’t overthink it.
  • Drink while you really feel thirsty.
  • In case your pee is a darker coloration than regular, drink extra water.
  • Don’t stress about consuming 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 believe that about does it for immediately’s information.

In the event you’d like to affix our neighborhood, 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 folks 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 will 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 need an actual blueprint leveling up your diet, try Nerd Health Journey! Our enjoyable habit-building app helps you train extra ceaselessly, eat more healthy, and stage up your life (actually).

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

Strive your free trial proper right here:

#3) Be part of The Rebel! Now we have a free e-mail e-newsletter that we ship out twice per week, stuffed with ideas and tips that can assist 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 you might want to find out about water?

Let’s hear it.


PS: We stroll about how water matches into a correct weight loss program in our Information to Wholesome Consuming. Test it out in case you’re simply embarking on leveling up your diet sport.


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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