You are probably all aware of the “cardinal rule” that says adults should drink six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. The truth is, this is an estimate because there is no single formula fits everyone. But knowing more about your body’s need for fluids will help you estimate how much water to drink each day.

Fluid Needs Vary For Each Individual

Many factors impact how much water you need, including your age, sex, activity level, and overall health. More water is needed by individuals during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

Adequate intake levels for water have been determined for generally healthy people and are based on age and sex.

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, for women, the amount of total water is about 11.5 cups per day. This estimate, however, includes fluids consumed from both foods and beverages, including water. You typically get about 20% of the water you need from the food you eat. Taking that into account, women need about nine cups of fluid per day in order to help replenish the amount of water that is lost.

Color Check For Your Hydration Status

A quick and easy way to check if you are getting enough water overall is to take a peek at the color of your urine. If you are consuming enough, the urine color will be a pale yellow color. If it is a dark yellow or amber color, you may need to increase the amount you consume.

If you are looking for ways to make sure you consume enough water, check out my tips here.


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Carol Aguirre MS, RD/LDN