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Updated on July 3, 2021

Daily Water Intake

The human body consists of around 60 % water.  Daily fluid intake (total water) is defined as the amount of water consumed from foods, plain drinking water, and other beverages.  Our water intake requirement depends on many factors, including age, gender, our health and how active we are.  Around 20% of daily water intake usually comes from food and 80% come from drinking fluids.  Daily water intake must balance with losses to maintain good total body water balance.  We need water because it;

  • Helps removes the body wastes and toxins through urine, sweat and bowel movements
  • Maintains blood volume to transport oxygen and nutrients
  • Helps keeps your temperature within the normal range
  • Prevents body cell dehydration

How much water do you need every day?

There is a general recommendation that drinking around 8 glasses of water each day is essential for most people.  Dehydration can have adverse effects on your health. Thirst occurs at 2% dehydration while dry mouth occurs at 3% dehydration.  At 5% dehydration, you may get headache, tiredness and difficulty concentrating while at 7%, you may collapse.  In fact, The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends the following daily intake;

  • For men, a total of 10-13 cups (around 3 liters) of fluid
  • For women, a total of 8-9 cups (around 2 liters) of fluid

These are the symptoms which suggest that you are NOT drinking enough

  • Feeling thirsty
  • Your urine is dark yellow or brown in colour

Click to view Healthline video on How much Water do you need

Special Circumstances

There may be circumstances where you may sweat or lose more water than normal and you will need to drink more fluids to replace the water lost.  A simple rule is to drink half to 2 cups of water for after every 20-30 minutes of the activity especially;

  • On a hot and humid day or when outdoors with no shelter
  • During exercises or sporting activities
  • Hiking or climbing at high attitudes

Here are some other recommendations for special circumstances (although it is recommended that you discuss with your doctor what is suitable for you);

  • Pregnant women are encouraged to drink around 10 cups of water daily while those who breastfeed would need around 12 cups of water
  • Being ill with diarrhoea, vomiting or fever will require you to drink more
  • People with heart failure or kidney disease may need to restrict their fluid intake

 Discuss your condition with a dietician, nutritionist, doctor or wellness coach

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Disclaimer. TELEME blog posts contains general information about health conditions and treatments. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. 

If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

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