Water: How Much Do You Need?


Did you know that water makes up more than 60 percent of your body weight? The human body needs water to digest food, circulate blood, transport nutrients throughout your body, and more. Without water, your body cannot work.

How much water do you need each day? Adults need one cup of water daily for every 20 pounds of body weight. This equals eight cups of water a day for a 160-pound person.

If you exercise hard, live in a hot climate, or live at a high altitude, you will need to drink more. Talk to your doctor about how much water you need. Sometimes your doctor may ask you to drink only a certain amount of liquids. If this is the case, ask your doctor how to avoid dehydration. In general, if your urine is clear or light yellow, you are drinking enough.

If you do not enjoy plain tap water, try:

  • Flavored carbonated water (sugar-free)
  • Seltzer water (plain or flavored)
  • Tap or bottled water with a squeeze of lemon or lime
  • Low sodium, broth-based soups
  • Caffeine-free herbal teas
  • Juice spritzers made with carbonated water and juice

Drinking enough water is not only essential for life. It’s also one of the simplest things your can do to keep your body healthy.