How Much Water You Want to Drink Every Day

Chances are, you’re dehydrated. Most Americans are. Chances are, you also don’t know it. Most people don’t. In fact, most people never feel thirsty, and those who do, are already dehydrated.

Luckily, there’s a simple formula I’ve come up with – tweaked from the one I learned at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition – to calculate how much water you want to drink every day. In case you’re the type of person who is short on time or patience and doesn’t need to be sold on the benefits, here it is:

(Your Weight in Pounds ÷ 2)


(# of Caffeinated or Alcoholic Beverages Consumed × 8)


(# of Intense Exercise Sessions × 8)


Total Ounces of Water

So for example, if you weigh 140 pounds, you want to take in at least 70 ounces of water every day at a minimum. If you have a cup of coffee in the morning, it increases to 78. If later that day you have a glass of wine with dinner, it increases to 86 ounces. For reference, most people refer to an 8oz portion as a cup or “glass”, so in this example day, we’re talking almost 11 glasses of water. Add a workout into your day, and it becomes almost 12 glasses.

If you’re thinking this sounds like you’re going to peeing all day long, you will. How do you think your body removes toxins? Along with many other bodily functions, our urine carries out a lot of the stuff we don’t want or need. This brings me to all the benefits of drinking water.

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Benefits of Hydration

Maybe these will seem obvious, but with 75% of Americans not drinking enough water (a percentage reflected in my coaching clientele), it’s important to drive the benefits home. For example, many men encounter kidney issues such as kidney stones as they age. A major underlying factor is not drinking enough water.

It’s impossible to list all of the benefits of water in a reasonably short blog post, so here are some of the top benefits:

  • better sleep
  • optimal brain function
  • improved moods
  • detoxification support
  • regulated body temperature

Sources of Hydration (And Not)

Feel free to spruce up your water with lemon or lime, but at the end of the day, filtered water or mineral water are your best options for hydration. Herbal teas, which don’t have any caffeine, offer a variety of flavors and benefits of their own, depending on the herbs. For example, chamomile tea also supports sleep.

Anything containing caffeine, such as coffee, tea, soda, energy drinks and even chocolate are dehydrating. In the hydration equation, if any of these are part of your day, add more water to offset and compensate. But as a health coach, I beg of you, please reconsider soda and energy drinks entirely. One book I read called soda “liquid Satan”, and I’m not saying I agree, but I’m also not saying I don’t. For the record, this includes diet soda.

How to Hydrate

If you’re having a hard time remembering to drink enough water, here are some ways to incorporate some healthy water intake:

  • Carry around a reusable water bottle (stainless steel or glass containers are always preferable to plastic).
  • Buy a water filter, whether it’s a pitcher with a built-in filter, a filter for your kitchen sink or best of all, a whole-house filter (expensive but saves you – and the Earth – in the long run, plus it benefits your skin and hair through the shower).
  • Drink 1-3 glasses of water first thing in the morning, before you drink or eat anything else. Remember, coffee is dehydrating, and we become dehydrated in our sleep, so drinking coffee first thing isn’t ideal.
  • Add lemon or lime to water for flavor, or experiment with herbal teas. Traditional Medicinals and Sakara are my go-to brands for herbal teas.
  • Try to drink most of your water earlier in the day to avoid middle of the night trips to the bathroom.

Drinking enough water is the easiest and quickest way to see results, both internally and externally. Water keeps things moving along, and it makes your skin glow. Best of all, it’s accessible, affordable and easy to start right away!

4 thoughts on “How Much Water You Want to Drink Every Day”

  1. I always followed the half your body weight in ounces but never took into account the coffee or working out.. very interesting!

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