There really isn’t scientific evidence to back up the advice to drink 8 cups of water a day (on top of everything else you eat and drink). How much water you need depends on your environment and circumstances. In fact, according to the Institute of Medicine, most women need the equivalent of:
- About eleven 8-oz. cups of water a day (men need 15.6 cups)
- 12.6 cups a day during pregnancy
- 16 cups a day while breastfeeding
That’s a lot of water! But it can and does come from many different sources. We typically get 80% of our daily needs from water and other beverages that include water—milk, juice, caffeinated drinks, beer, wine and even soda. The remaining 20% comes from food (the water in fruits and vegetables, for example).
When You Need More Water
Most healthy people get enough water from their daily food and beverage intake (and when they feel thirsty). There are times when you need more water than usual. Find out when to up your intake!