Water is one of the basic needs of all living creatures everywhere. It sustains life and we cannot survive for very long without it. We need to watch out daily water intake. The question does arise, however, as to how much water should you drink in a day. The fact is, we get water not just from drinking it directly — we also get it from the water present in the food we eat. 

There is a lot of contradictory information out there. Are 2 litres of water a day enough? Are 4 litres of water a day too much? if you are a health-conscious individual, then you might be wondering what the accurate amount of water required for a human being actually is. 

Of course, there will be some parties that will push the number higher — mineral water companies will want you to drink more water! That is why we have set the record straight in this article and give you accurate information about how much water you must actually drink. 

Let’s dive in. No pun intended!

How Much Water Should You Drink Per Day?

Let’s start by looking at some basic facts about daily water intake. We will explore these points in detail later in the article.

  • We can get our water either from food or from fluids. 
  • Drinking 8 glasses of water a day is not evidence-based.
  • The amount of water you need depends on several factors. 
  • The human body has a natural ability to tell us when we need water.

If you look at what several health agencies have said about daily water intake, you will find a lot of contradictory information. In 1945, the U.S. Food and Nutrition Board said that people need to consume 2.5 litres of water a day, which includes the water that comes from floods. The National Health Service (NHS) of the UK suggests consuming 6 to 8 glasses a day, which is 1.9 litres if you’re living in a  temperate climate. More water needs to be consumed in hotter climates, they say. Whereas the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today tells us that there is not recommended intake as such, but there is a recommended daily fluid intake. Daily fluid intake refers to the amount of water consumed from foods, plain drinking water, and other beverages. 

Of course, there is a problem if you end up counting sugary drinks as fluids. Although they are technically sources of water, they are not the best sources! Fruits, vegetables, teas, and even coffee are all good sources of hydration.

The thing is, there isn’t really a set upper limit for water intake, although we can say that drinking too much is also problematic. That is why we believe we need to communicate clearly some recommendations about daily water intake. 

Recommended Daily Water Intake By Age

The best way to classify the daily water intake requirement is by age. Other factors that matter include activity levels and climate. Someone who runs for a few kilometres will have to drink more water than someone who doesn’t. Someone who lives in a place with hot weather will have to drink more water than someone who doesn’t. But age is common no matter where you are. Here is the average water intake for infants and adults:

Age GroupAverage Daily Water Intake
InfantsAbout 525 ml for a 3.5 kg newbornAbout 1,200 ml for an 8 kg infant(as breast or bottled milk)
Adults (age 19-30) Around 3.7 litres for men Around 2.7 litres for women(more or less, depending on climate and activity factors) 

Before the age of 6 months, babies aren’t given plain drinking water. Their water intake comes from breast milk or bottled milk. Once the infant starts eating solid foods, they need less fluid from breast milk and formula.

If a man is active and living in a warm climate, the water requirement might range from 2.5 litres if inactive to up to 6 litres if active. For women, the water requirements will probably be 0.5 to 1 litre lower because of their typically smaller body mass. But pregnant women will need an extra 0.3 litres, and an additional 0.7 to 1.1 litres while breastfeeding.

Children Aged Over 12 Months

To encourage children to make a habit of drinking water regularly, it should be made part of their daily routine. This is especially true if the weather is warm — children play outdoors and can get dehydrated quickly. It’s also necessary to discourage them from relying on sugar-filled drinks or juices as a way to quench their thirst, as this can be very unhealthy. It’s also the responsibility of schools to have adequate water drinking facilities on campus. 

Children Who Are Sick With A Fever

If a child is dehydrated or sick with a fever, then here is the recommended daily water intake as per the Centers For Disease Control

AgeDaily Fluid Intake
Up to 12 months3 cups
1 to 3 years4 cups
4 to 8 years5 cups
6 to 13 years 8 cups
14 years and over11 to 13 cups for males, 8 to 9 for females

Sometimes, doctors recommend taking an oral rehydration solution to ensure an adequate electrolyte balance if the child is sick or dehydrated. Learn more about the dangers of dehydration here

Daily Water Intake For Older adults

With adults who are 50 and over, there are several other factors to consider while deciding the amount of water intake. These include health conditions, medications, loss of muscle mass, reduction in kidney function, among others. If an older adult is well-hydrated, they have a lot of benefits. They are less likely to: 

  • Fall over or feeling confused
  • Be constipated
  • Get bladder cancer or urinary tract infection
  • Experience kidney failure
  • Have their wounds heal slowly

This means that for older adults, a healthy amount of daily water intake is necessary. Most studies that have been done have concluded that older adults need to consume just as much water as younger adults. Those caring for older people need to ensure that regular water intake is part of the daily routine. 

Conclusion

There are several factors to consider while deciding your daily water intake. These include, but aren’t limited to: 

  • daily activity
  • weather conditions
  • body mass
  • sex and age
  • health condition
  • medications
  • pregnancy or breast-feeding

That said, a simple rule of thumb to keep in mind is — if your body is telling you that it is thirsty and needs water, then makes sure you hydrate. A lot of people also check their urine and see if it’s too yellow to tell if they are dehydrated. There are several apps you can download to tell if that it’s time to drink water. You can also set a simple alarm to help you drink water regularly. It is advisable to drink small amounts of water at intervals instead of drinking a huge quantity at one shot. Learn more about the problems with drinking too much water here.

Along with ensuring that you are drinking an adequate amount of water, you also need to ensure that your drinking water is clean and rich in the right minerals. That is why you should opt for SKF Water Purifiers. Learn more about them here.