Keep It Flowin’: How Much Water a Day Is the Perfect Amount?

There’s a little debate about how much water a person should drink each day – you’ve probably come across different recommendations yourself. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, six to eight, 8-ounce glasses of water is the general recommended amount for a healthy person to drink each day, but it depends a bit on the individual.

For example, if you’re physically active, the weather is hot, or you’re in dry conditions, you’d likely need more water than eight glasses. Think of it this way: Drink at least six to eight, 8-ounce glasses of water each day. Keep in mind that some people (including the elderly, young kids, people with certain illnesses, women who are breastfeeding, and others) are at higher risk for dehydration, so check with your health care provider for your specific needs. 

A person’s body weight is made up of about 60 percent water, and water is the key ingredient for every system in our bodies to work properly. We lose water all the time, whether it’s from sweating, going to the bathroom, and even by simply breathing!

Water Can…

… help reduce kidney stone formation – Water helps keep your urine diluted so stones can’t form.

… help keep you regular – Water and fiber are needed for good digestion. When you’re dehydrated, your body soaks up the water and leaves your colon dry, making it harder for waste to pass from your body. Water helps keep things moving.

… help hydrate skin cells – That means wrinkles aren’t as noticeable, and you might look younger! It’s also good for keeping your skin clear, as it helps flush out impurities.

… help boost metabolism and keep you feeling full.

… help lower your stress levels – About 70-80 percent of your brain tissue is water. Stay hydrated to avoid being stressed due to dehydration. Check out this fact: “Studies have shown that being just half a liter dehydrated can increase your cortisol levels,” says Amanda Carlson, RD, director of performance nutrition at Athletes’ Performance, a trainer of world-class athletes. Cortisol is a stress hormone. Drinking water won’t help wash away your run-of-the-mill issues in life, but it can help avoid added stress.

Did You Know You Can Eat Your Way to Staying Hydrated?

According to the Mayo Clinic, on average, food provides about 20 percent of total water intake. Water is best in order to stay hydrated, but it’s nice to know that food (and other drinks) can supplement water intake.

The following food and drinks are high in water content. Think about adding them to your diet, if you don’t already.

  • Lettuce (1-1/2 cups) – 95% water
  • Watermelon (1-1/2 cups) – 92% water
  • Broccoli (1-1/2 cups) – 91% water
  • Grapefruit (1-1/2 cups) – 91% water
  • Milk (1 cup) – 89% water
  • Orange juice (3/4 cup) – 88% water
  • Carrot juice (3/4 cup) – 87% water 
  • Yogurt (1 cup) – 85% water 
  • Apple (1 medium) – 84% water

Tips to Keep the Water Flowin’

  • Keep a reusable water bottle on hand when you’re on the go (or at your desk), and refill often.
  • Take a sip whenever you pass a water fountain.
  • Sparkling water counts! Add lemon or lime juice for something a little refreshing.

Get your water on! Think about cooking up some great OA recipes that include the foods above:

Spicy Spinach Curry Lettuce Wraps
Grilled Watermelon
Organic Grapefruit Ginger Juice


Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
American Academy of Family Physicians
The Mayo Clinic
The University of Maryland Medical Center

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