How much water should I drink?
Updated: Apr 13, 2022
Around 55% to 78% of the human body is made up of water. To function properly all the cells and organs of the body need water, yet roughly 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. Losing as little as 1.5% of your body’s water can cause symptoms. Signs of mild to moderate dehydration in adults can include:
Dark yellow urine
Dry, cool skin
Unfortunately, there is no universally agreed upon rule for how much water an adult should drink each day. Some of the water required by the body is obtained through foods with a high water content, but most comes through drinking fluids. Water is definitely the best source for staying hydrated, but milk and juices can also be adequate sources. Avoid beverages with added sugar, artificial sweeteners, caffeine, or alcohol. A good general guideline is to drink approximately half your body weight in ounces daily, and listen to your body’s cues to know if you need to increase or decrease that amount each day. Drink enough each day so that your urine is a pale clear color and has little odor. Seek medical attention immediately if you are experiencing confusion, fainting, markedly decrease urination, rapid heartbeat and breathing, or shock.