How Much Water Per Day? Exaggerated by the Media!

March 12, 2009

Have you been pressured to drink more water than feels natural? Are you constantly coming up short of the recommended 8-10 glasses of water per day? You will like this article! I’m going to examine current studies that question the logic of drinking 8-10+ glasses of water per day. Newer studies are showing that maybe you should follow your senses, instead of sticking to some rigid drinking schedule.
bottled water
[When you are thirsty, nothing sounds better than water. So what should you do if you are not thirsty?]

Does Drinking 8-10 Glasses of Water Each Day Feel Natural?

If drinking that much water per day feels natural then by all means, go ahead and drink that much. For me, this just makes my entire day feels focused around drinking water. This is the same feeling I got when I used to try and eat 6 meals per day…I just don’t want my day to be devoted to consuming food and water. Even worse than that is the increased trips to the restroom that accompany that type of water intake.

The Average Person Loses 10 Cups of Water Per Day

Wouldn’t that mean that the average person would need to drink 10 cups of water per day? Well…it isn’t that simple. The average person also gets 4 cups of water from food. For instance, a watermelon is 92% water by weight, an egg is about 75% water, a piece of lean meat is about 70% water. So that leaves just 6 cups of water, right? Well, not exactly…

Coffee, Tea and Other Caffeinated Beverages Count!

I have always felt that caffeinated beverages were hydrating, but for some reason the mainstream media claims that the diuretic effect of the caffeine offsets any fluid in the beverage. Here is an interesting study which shows that coffee, tea, milk, soda, and other fluids have the same effect as water as far as hydration is concerned:
The Effect of Caffeinated, Non-Caffeinated, Caloric and Non-Caloric Beverages on Hydration

Here is what Ann Grandjean, the study’s lead author had to say…”We found no significant differences at all. The purpose of the study was to find out if caffeine is dehydrating in healthy people who are drinking normal amounts of it. It is not.” The same goes for tea, juice, milk and caffeinated sodas: One glass provides about the same amount of hydrating fluid as a glass of water. The only common drinks that produce a net loss of fluids are those containing alcohol.

A Kidney Physiologist Who Recommends Much Less Water

From a Los Angeles Article titled “All That Water Advice Just Doesn’t Wash” – 15 January 2001:

Kidney specialists do agree on one thing, however: that the 8-by-8 rule is a gross overestimate of any required minimum. To replace daily losses of water, an average-sized adult with healthy kidneys sitting in a temperate climate needs no more than one liter of fluid, according to Jurgen Schnermann, a kidney physiologist at the National Institutes of Health.

One liter is the equivalent of about four 8-ounce glasses. According to most estimates, that’s roughly the amount of water most Americans get in solid food. In short, though doctors don’t recommend it, many of us could cover our bare-minimum daily water needs without drinking anything during the day.

What About This? “If You Are Thirsty, Then It is Too Late”

It is often stated that by the time a person is thirsty, then that person is already dehydrated. I have always had a feeling that our bodies are smarter than that. Luckily I have found some scientific studies which back this up. Here is a study showing that people who waited until they were thirsty to drink water, remained just as hydrated as people who drank on a set schedule. So maybe our natural thirst mechanism actually works properly! Body Fluid Changes, Thirst and Drinking in Man During Free Access to Water

How Much More Water Does An Active Person Need?

I guess this would be one of the big variables. Obviously an exceptionally active person would need a more water compared to a less active person. Also, warmer climates and different altitudes would make a difference in how much water someone needs to consume.

Your Body Will Tell You How Much Water You Need

Drink water when you are thirsty and drink a little more than that if you enjoy water, but don’t freak out if you aren’t hitting the 8-10 glasses per day figure. I drink a cup of coffee in the morning, tea during the day, a cup of coffee before I work out, and then 4-5 cups of water the hours after working out until bed time. This feels like more than enough water. Bottom line is this…drinking a glass of water every 2 hours certainly won’t harm you, but don’t worry if you can’t drink water on such a structure schedule.

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{ 60 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris - www.fitnessfail.com March 12, 2009 at 12:04 pm

Good post Rust, as usual. Always good to see common myths get debunked.

How about urine color as a marker of hydration status. Nearly clear is good, dark yellow indicates that you need to drink more.

Brad March 12, 2009 at 2:28 pm

My water drinking habits are similar to my sugar eating habits- the more I drink it the more I like it. But my wife has asked me on many occasions, “Do you ever drink water?” “You need to drink more water.” I never really felt guilty of not drinking it unless I was substituing it for soda- now that’s a bad habit. But if I’m not drinking soda and I’m not thirsty, why force down some agua? Nice post!

Adam Steer - Better Is Better March 12, 2009 at 2:35 pm

Hey Rusty,

Thanks for hitting another hot button!

“For me, this just makes my entire day feels focused around drinking water.”
Hmm – it keeps me more focused on where all the urinals are located… 🙂

I’m glad you mentioned coffee, etc. We’ve known for ages that these beverages have at least a mild hydrating effect. The craziest one I’ve heard is that you shouldn’t drink coffee and water together because they are “opposites.” What!! Coffee is water soaked in coffee grinds… 😉

One thing I do find is that I need to drink a lot more water when using Intermittent Fasting. Since I’m not getting the water from food, I need it elsewhere. If I don’t drink a lot during fasting, my lips get dry and cracked. Just goes to show you how much of our water we get from the food we eat (unless all your food comes out of those colorful cardboard boxes…).

Cheers,
Adam

Jennifer March 12, 2009 at 2:41 pm

This totally makes sense to me. I have never followed the 8-10 glasses of water rule. I must admit if I drink alcohol I do try to balance it with an increased level of water consumption, but apart from that I “drink when I’m thirsty”! I do believe that staying hydrated helps skin stay soft and smooth, but this certainly doesn’t require a ridged drinking schedule. Some people say you should weigh yourself before and after working out and then drink the difference in weight, because this is the amount of “fluids” that have been lost during activity, but I always found this to be a headache. I just drink a cup of water (or green tea) before working out, a cup during the exercise, and a cup after. This would probably work for most people unless they are an athlete that trains for 4+ hours/day.

Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach March 12, 2009 at 3:17 pm

I confess that I enjoy my water and have it in many ways (big bowls of soup being one of them!). I tend to enjoy hot water more than cold; it’s more satisfying for me.

Tuscanystone March 12, 2009 at 3:56 pm

I totally agree with you Rusty, your body knows exactly how much water it needs! Hence why I always feel more thirsty (and drink more) when exercising or in the summer. Also, if I feel a bit tired or a bit headachey then I find a glass of water helps. But those are just symptoms of dehydration setting in…..

I guess the only unanswered question for me is: does drinking more water increase your metabolism and aid in weight loss? Did you come across any answers to this in your research? Or is this just anohter myth?

Regards

Tusc 🙂

ally March 12, 2009 at 4:08 pm

I’ve wondered about this b/c whenever I drink that much water (and am not out in the sun or working out a ton) I have to use the restroom as much as 3x/hour–that just doesn’t seem necessary. Thanks for debunking more hype.

craig March 12, 2009 at 4:18 pm

Hi Rusty,

(Sorry, I left this post on your last article but I just noticed that you just added a new one today. Kinda off-topic anyway.)

I think I’m addicted to your site- really great info. Anyway…I’ll try to be brief. I’ve always been pretty slim- (I don’t mind the look) usually around 155-160 lbs at 5’11” (22 yrs old), but I’m going to be spending the summer in L.A. so I want to get pretty tone and to a really low body fat %. Currently I’m about 144 lbs – this is after a month of low carb/higher protein/healthy eating and cardio exercise 3-4 times/wk; I also do bodyweight training like pushups (and pushup variations), sit ups, dips, planks, etc. (I don’t have access to a “weight room”, but I think I can achieve results with these). I’m also starting to incorporate some HIIT into my workouts, taking 150mg of caffeine before, and am also starting to exercise on an empty stomach.
So I’ve had great results so far- lost a lot of belly fat and back down to a 30 inch waist like high school. But I have extremely stubborn fat deposits on my sides/lower back and some lower abdominal fat- keep in mind I’m at 144 lbs. My diet/workout may be starting to plateau, but I’m not sure if this is the case- I think those areas are just really stubborn- they’ve been that way ever since I can remember. I’ve just started consuming a protein shake after my workouts- (I don’t want to lose much more weight if any- I’d like a little more muscle tone but that’s about it.) I’d rather not take a week off either as I don’t want to add any more fat to those areas especially. So my plan right now is to consume about 500 more calories that I have been for a couple weeks (I was at about a 1000 calories for the first two weeks of my diet, and the last two weeks around 1200-1500) to avoid over-doing the calorie deficit I’ve been on (and perhaps also avoid any plateau I MIGHT be on) and start doing SFP 3 times/wk. Then as April rolls around, I want to start eating really clean again- perhaps around 1200-1500 calories again- and continue with SFP, making sure to switch up my type of exercise- been doing jump rope, basketball, biking and will soon be varying that with tennis and running once it warms up here in Michigan.

Whew….sorry for rambling… but how’s that sound? Any suggestions or tips particular to my situation???? Thanks a lot man, really appreciate it.
-craig

Helder March 12, 2009 at 6:46 pm

Good call Rusty, i never paid much atention to those studies telling us to drink 2/3 L of water per day, i believe drinking is something so natural almost no one needs to control. You can spend a few days without eating and you survive, the same is not true for water, so i believe our bodies are very inteligent and they will always let you know instinctivelly when you need to drink water.

Besides like you said, food contains water, and other drinks contain water too.

I said that almost no one needs to control the amount of water, because some people don’t like water or make an effort to drink because they never or almost never feel like drinking water, and those yes i believe they need to control the amount of water they drink.

There are also special situations that require drinking water even if you’re not thirsty, like when you go to the beach or are in intense physical activity, but most of the times just drink when you feel like it, our body is very inteligent that’s for sure. This will be a hot topic for sure, and that’s good

Chris Highcock March 12, 2009 at 8:04 pm

Very true

Diti lad March 12, 2009 at 10:16 pm

Good article.

I’ve got a quick couple of questions I would love you to answer.

Firstly, I’ve been recently in your articles that you dropped the whole warrior diet one meal a day deal, and now you are on intermittent fasting.

What made you change from Warrior Diet to IF?

I am a student and honestly don’t have the money to buy Eat Stop Eat and all those books. I am 5″11, 170lbs and just starting to get cut (my abs are starting to get revealed at the top etc) and want to really start cutting weight. Could you give me a quick sample of a eating schedule I could do?

Secondly, since swim season ended I’ve been a bit lazy with cardio. I do this routine fasted on a treadmill

1 minute 3.0mph
1 minute 11.6mph

For 5 sets, until I get to 10 minutes, then I walk on incline for a little bit. Do you think this will blast the fat away along with IF, weight lifting, and calisthenics? Or should I do more/different cardio?

Chelsea March 12, 2009 at 11:50 pm

I drink a gallon of water every day, and sometimes I drink even more than that! One time I had two gallons in a day, is that too much and possibly dangerous?? I have been trying to find out how much water is too much…

Chelsea March 12, 2009 at 11:52 pm

Oh, I do Turbulence Training bodyweight circuits 3x a week, and HIIT 3x a week as well, in case that helps…

pnw fitness March 13, 2009 at 2:22 am

Nicely put together.

I’ve been drinking unsweetend teas from a large mug. I enjoy it a little more than water most of the time, so I end up consuming a ton of liquid.

I have to admit, it gives me a warm funny feeling inside knowing I’m drinking a lot. Guess I’ve definitely fallen to the brainwashing over the years.

My next move is to move to strictly filtered water/liquids. Consuming a lot of chemicals from a lot of tap water probably is bad.

Anne Siri Koksrud March 13, 2009 at 6:08 am

Funny thing, I actually wrote a post today about all the stuff I’m supposed to be drinking in the morning. Anyway, I’ve had this same feeling for some time – that I should trust my body and drink when thirsty. Sipping from a bottle of water all day only makes me have to chase to the ladies’ every two hours.

Lihan March 13, 2009 at 8:27 am

Woah! I drink abt 4-5 litres of water a day consistently(excluding tea,coffee) n almost drink 1.5 ltres during workouts.i hv tried many times 2 drop it down but no luck.i feel lyk im dyin in thrust if i dont drink atleast 1.5 glass of water afta every hr or so.it has been lyk dis 4 six mnths or so after readin ur water retention article(b4 dat i used 2drink barely 1ltr a day).lol.im ok wid drinkin dat much water except dat i hv 2 use d bathrum frequently.oh n im afraid of d sodium balance in blood wud decrease substantially 4 drinkin insane amount of water.so rusty wats ur suggestion?shud i continue drinkin dat much water as im sufferin frm water retention n probably abt 10 pounds of fat 2 lose or jst reduce d amount?hope i made myself clear.
Thank u.lukin forward 2ur reply.

Caleb - Double Your Gains March 13, 2009 at 8:47 am

GREAT Article Rusty!

Really glad you took the time to research this one… I’m far too lazy. I’ve given up on trying to hit the “8 cups a day” thing a while ago (felt the same about it as the 6 meals per day thing).

I HAVE always read that if your urine is clear you’re properly hydrated… anyone have any scientific proof of that one though? Would make more sense as you’re actually listening to your body instead of following some “ideal number”.

(Then again, I’m no urine expert).

Totally did NOT know that about the caffeinated beverages either — that’s awesome. Another thumbs down for alcohol though 🙁

Great Job as always Rusty!

Caleb

Caleb - Double Your Gains March 13, 2009 at 8:49 am

Oh I forgot to mention this awesome “alternative medicine” doctor. His name is Dr. Douglass at the Douglass Report: http://www.douglassreport.com/bio.html and I remember one of the headlines for a promo for a book of his was “I haven’t had a glass of water in 8 years!” or something like that.

He’s a champion of telling people how brainwashed we’ve all been by the “EVERYTHING IS BAD FOR YOU!” media crowd 🙂

Pretty awesome stuff…

Fitness-siren March 13, 2009 at 10:29 am

Another health myth debunked! I guess this goes to say that we should all look at existing studies instead of listening to a bunch lies from the mainstream media. BP has already cured me of my food and protein guilt and now I don’t have to worry too much about my water intake. The only times that I try to really get my water intake is before, during, and after a workout. I really think it makes a difference with my performance at the gym.

Thanks for another great post!

Chris - www.fitnessfail.com March 13, 2009 at 10:54 am

Chelsea –

It really depends on how much your losing. It’s hard to say from a training volume alone, since there are SO many variables (how much do you sweat, how humid is it, etc..). Some endurance athletes, or people in very hot climates may need that much, but they’re more the exception.

Some of the endurance/triathlete crowd have developed spreadsheets for calculating fluid loss from exercise, which IMO is a bit over the top.

The message is simple though – drink until you’re satisfied, don’t force it down. I’d also suggest (to put it bluntly) “drink until your urine is straw colored and plentiful”.

Running to the bathroom every 20 minutes is a sign that you’ve gone overboard.

MrBunny March 13, 2009 at 11:07 am

Interesting post Rusty, i for one am a big water lover because i actually like drinking water and is the only fluid i consume apart from a glass of milk each day. I never liked tea or coffee and don’t drink alcohol but when i was much fatter i simply drank nothing but fizzy sugar induced soda…very bad. I drink an average of 2 liters a day but i never force myself i just drink when i want to which is how it should be.

I believe this big craze of advising people to drink water is that a lot of the food people eat is not healthy and don’t hold much water. Very few people eat fruits, veg and even fewer eat lean meats. Unless it is covered with sugar, drowned in salt or deep fried most people will not go near it and lets face it sugar, salt and fried food will make you more dehydrated and drowning that down with a fizzy soda is not helping.

I think the drink more water movement applies only to those who don’t eat healthy and don’t apply to people like you or many of the readers on this site. I never liked the idea of counting or measuring anything when it comes to food or drinks as it is a little too contrived and people can become too obsessed by it. This also applies to weighing yourself on the scale as i see too many of your readers obsessed with the magical number on the scale which will dictate there mood throughout the day. The best advice i was given was stop weighing myself and get rid of the scale as i got obsessed and weighed myself each day and often upset if my weight went up by 1 or 2 lbs. I only later discovered that your weight can fluctuate as much as 5-10lbs in a week just due to water. I now learn to use the mirror as my guide to how much fat i need to lose and not weighing myself as been so up lifting and feels like a big weight was taken off my shoulders…excuse the pun.

The best advice i can give anyone is stop weighing yourself and letting a stupid number dictate your life. Trust yourself and your instinct and enjoy life without measuring how much you should drink or eat. People know what is good and bad when it comes to food they just choose to ignore it. I have yet to meet a person who truly believes sugar, salt, fizzy soda or deep fried food is actually good for you…

Manny March 13, 2009 at 11:12 am

Hey Rusty!

Love your site! I have a few questions about my own workout plan. (I do my workouts first thing after I wake up in the morning around 7-8am) On MWF, I do 20 min of HIIT and then 20 min of steady state cardio, and then I lift using my push muscles. On T,Th,Sat, I do the Crazy 8 circuit and the rowing machine for 20 min, and then I lift using my pull group. Finally, I take Sunday off. First of all, what do you think of this workout. Also, after these morning workouts, I have been eating healthy and high protein breakfasts of around 700-900 calories (eggs whites, whole wheat toast, fruit, yogurt, turkey sausages). Later, my lunch and dinner each consist of around 500 each. Am I eating too many calories for breakfast, or am I okay?

Thanks!

Manny March 13, 2009 at 11:14 am

And also, I’m taking in 1800 calories a day for two days and then 2600 calories the the third day, and I’m repeating this cycle over and over again. Is this a good way to lose body fat but keep the BMR up? Thanks!

Eric March 13, 2009 at 11:26 am

I’m sick, and drinking water makes me throw up or at the very least nauseated.

I’m trying plain tea, which leaves my mouth cottony, and juice… which is only easy going down but I hate the sugar (begging someone to go to the store and get sugar free stuff.)

I’m holding out for some Crystal Light. I hope I hope I hope.

David at Animal-Kingdom-Workouts March 13, 2009 at 12:24 pm

This is an example of how my “following what the animals do” philosophy really paid off. When does a bear drink? When he’s thirsty. That’s it. If its good enough for a bear, its good enough for me.

– Dave

Rod Newbound, RN March 13, 2009 at 12:45 pm

Thanks Rusty.

You’ve done a good job of looking at some of the misconceptions about hydration, and I think you’re correct in concluding the average person should be OK drinking when they are thirsty. Certainly that makes since from a standpoint of our survival as a species. I’m fairly certain our ancient ancestors didn’t carry around a water bottle during their daily activities.

Being a geriatric nurse, I have a somewhat different perspective when it comes to the the elderly. Studies show that as we age, our sense of thirst changes to the point where by the time we feel thirsty, we are already dehydrated.

And dehydration in the elderly is a very serious problem. It can quickly lead to mental fogginess & confusion. And it sets the stage for disease problems such as urinary tract and upper respiratory infections that can actually dramatically increase the dehydration in a very short period of time.

I tell my patients water is the cheapest “medicine” we have.

Chelsea March 13, 2009 at 1:16 pm

Chris – fitnessfails.com,
Thank you for answering my question. Good to know about the “urine color” haha, not to give TMI but mine is mostly clear. I don’t ever feel like I am forcing water down, it really has come to the point where I crave water, and if I don’t get in at least a liter every hour, my throat gets very dry and I feel almost dehydrated! My workouts are extremely intense and during my workouts I am sweating a ton so I probably am losing a substantial amount of water ( I think).

Thanks again for the information!

Patrick Cox March 13, 2009 at 1:52 pm

Hey Rusty,
Thanks for the information, now I don’t have to feel guilty about not following this water routine schedule everyday, just like the 6 meals a day theory. I used to force down a couple gallons of water a day, but over the years I just drink it when I need it, and it works to just listen to your body. This post helps me realize that I’m sure i’m getting more than enough because I eat lots of fruit and vegetables, and I forgot how much water it contains. If you follow what dam near everybody else says, you will spend most of your day in the bathroom, and I sure don’t miss that. On my intermittent fasting days, I like to drink about four 12oz bottles of diet mtn dew or diet pepsi, I like the caffeine in it, and I think it helps me get through my fasts. I also drink plenty of water. Do you think I’m drinking too many of these diet drinks? I only drink them on my 2 fast days a week.

Thanks for the research on water.

Pete March 13, 2009 at 3:34 pm

Great website Dude. I love getting your e-mails and adding some of your ideas into my workouts. The Tarzan post was really good, my brother and I have often said they need to create gyms where people do more outside army training, Tarzan type exercise than ‘domesticated’ exercise (notice how useless domesticated pets are when a local wild animal passes by the garden). When spring and summer are around I personally love to do Tae Bo outside barefoot on the grass punching a punching bag that I hang from a tree.

Anywho, onto water.

The BIG THING you’re all missing the point of is the QUALITY of water. A few years ago I read a really good book called ‘Young Again’ by John Thomas and although it’s an esoteric health book the author brings home a really good point about the ‘quality’ of water being far more important than the quantity of water. It led me to read and study more books about the quality of water.
When I decided to try using some of the purifiers he recommends I noticed a DRAMATIC change in my attitude to water and my athletic performance.
Tap water has HEAPS of things in it that you don’t even realize are there because you’ve been drinking it all your life and have never drank completely pure water to know anything else. Trust me, even brita or bottle water is still full of heaps of things I can’t even name without studying for years.
Basically when I tried using a BEV water purifier and a Medical Grade Ionized water system I ‘naturally’ drank more water because the water had nearly zero stress on the body to process and the H2O molecules had lots of space in the trunk to remove the bad stuff from your kidneys and liver.
I recommend everyone to read more about water quality for themselves than argue over the redundant question of ‘how’ much.
N.B. When I had a Medical Grade Ionized water system I noticed my urine, as well as being clear, used to foam a lot as well. Foaming urine is a really good sign btw lol.

Matthias March 13, 2009 at 4:21 pm

To all the “your body is smart” guys and girls: Why do people get fat? I mean you eat only when you’re hungry, right? So there is no way anybody could get fat ever. If you don’t have problems with overweight or underweight by eating instinctively than yes, you thrist most likly works, too. Otherwise I wouldn’t be that sure.

About the “you have to drink x glasses of water per day or x liters of water per day”: That obiously is total BS. That would mean that a small 100lbs girl and a big 250lbs guy would have the same water needs.

In general: Just because somebody can survive with a certain amount of water doesn’t mean it’s the optimal amount of water. Minimum ≠ optimum.

The color of you urine is the best bet. It should be pale yellow. absolutly clear means too much water, yellow means not enough, other colors mean you might have an infection.

pnw fitness March 13, 2009 at 10:41 pm

“Matthias said:
The color of you urine is the best bet. It should be pale yellow. absolutly clear means too much water, yellow means not enough, other colors mean you might have an infection.”

Kind of what I subconsciously go by.

Fit J March 14, 2009 at 5:13 am

Well… 70% of your muscle mass is water, so I don’t see why you shouldn’t drink heap loads of it!

Btw for those having trouble with the 6 meals a day thing, here’s an easy time. Buy a timer or if your phone is capable, set an alarm to go off every 2 hours. That’s when you drink water and have a nice, well rounded meal or snack.

This leaves out guess work. So no more excuses… 6 meals a day should be easy to accomplish!

Terry March 14, 2009 at 2:40 pm

So happy to hear about the coffee! Thanks.

On the unrine thing, I’ve read that some vitamin supplement, I think it was the B vitamins, make your urine yellow for a few hours so, that may need to be taken into consideration if that’s how you decide to judge your urine intake.

Also I’ve read that older people, not sure how old, but maybe 50 and beyond don’t always get thirsty anymore when they need water, so they need to try and take some extra when working outdoors in the heat.

I live in a warm climate and find I crave water more in the hot, steamy summers. And if I’m doing yard work, I find I like a little salt and OJ in my water.

I agree in general, your body knows best.

admin March 14, 2009 at 4:20 pm

Chris,

Yeah, urine color is a decent indicator of hydration. Good call.

Brad,

I try to insure at least a bit of pure water during the day, but I naturally crave this more in the evenings. I try to limit Diet Coke, but secretly wish it was good for me. Love the stuff!

Adam,

Good point about IF. It also feels good to fast every once in a while and drink water. It feels like it is cleaning out my the system.

Jennifer,

I tell people to alternate drinking a beer with drinking a glass of water. It insures that you drink less alcohol, because often times people at a party just drink liquid because it becomes a habit…they really don’t want another drink. It keeps people hydrated, they feel better the next day and save money.

Barbara,

I’m getting into soup more than I did when I was younger. A great source of hydration.

Tuscanystone,

Drinking more water has negligible effects on your metabolism. It won’t make a difference at all…it can curb hunger however, so it aids in losing weight to a certain extent.

ally,

If you are using the restroom more than once every few hours, you are probably consuming more water than what you need. I have been guilty of the same thing. I used to carry a big bottle of water around with me everywhere.

Craig,

It seriously looks like you are on the right track. You obviously have been doing a lot of reading. I love it that you are implementing what you have learned to fit your unique circumstances. Great job! Those last few pounds are the toughest. You will take two steps forward and one step back and kind of “zig-zag” those last few pounds until you are ripped. The best thing is that you have given yourself plenty of time.

Helder,

People do need to adjust their water intake depending on their circumstances. Obviously if I was playing tennis on a scorching hot day, I would need much more water then normal. Also, people should drink at least some pure water each day…even if they don’t like it (which is strange but those people exist).

Chris,

Thanks for stopping by the site. Many of my favorite blogger link to your site, so I need to check it out in better detail.

Diti,

I like better, because it seems healthier and just makes more sense. It is a realistic way of eating that gets amazing results. The Warrior Diet was just too extreme. As far as your routine goes…it looks good, but replace this with a body weight circuit every once in a while. Type in “body weight circuit” into the search bar on my site.

Chelsea,

That really sounds excessive to me. I’m guessing that you really wouldn’t want to go over a gallon, but can’t give you an exact amount. Do you crave that much?

pnw,

I hear the amount of bad chemicals in tap waters is exaggerated, but I guess it depends upon who you talk to (and where you live).

Anne,

I don’t know how many trips to the bathroom is too many, but I’m guessing anything over 5-6 times is excessive.

Lihan,

Pay attention to your thirst. Drinking a lot of water actually helps avoid water retention, believe it or not. Type in “water retention” into the search bar in the upper right hand corner of my site for a good article on that.

Caleb,

I never knew “for sure” about water until I read the research. So time well spent. Hopefully helping a few people out in the process 🙂 I’ll have to read some of Dr. Douglass’s stuff!

Fitness-siren,

Brad is doing some outstanding work. I have great respect for his message and that is why I mention him so much on the site. I’m just trying to do my part as well.

MrBunny,

Great point about how different diets contain different amounts of water. I never really considered that. Each week I am trying to introduce more and more vegetables into my diet. Over time you find that your diet can become pretty darn healthy.

Manny,

Thanks for the compliment. It is so hard to give you an estimate of calories. If you are someone who weighs around 160-190 then this looks like it is in the right ballpark. Your morning workout looks pretty tough, so you are justified to eat a bit more. It looks good to me. The real test is to see how your body responds. I imagine this will work out well. Note: I would occasionally throw in week’s where you only do 4 days or 5 days. Maybe 6 weeks of 6 days a week and 2 weeks of 4-5 days per week. If you are doing the calorie bump at the end of the week, then you could also throw in 1-2 low cal days (Tuesday and Thursday possibly) to offset the increase in calories while still getting the desired effect. This strategy works wonders.

Eric,

Get better buddy! I like Diet Ginger Ale when I’m sick and Cheetos (I didn’t write that…they are terrible for you…but they do taste good when I’m sick).

David,

Animals are smarter in some way than humans. People who visit your site will see how we can learn from animals.

Rod,

Thanks for pointing this out! The elderly have to take a different and more cautious approach to anything dealing with health and fitness.

Patrick,

If you limit those diet sodas to your days of fasting you will be fine. I know diet soda isn’t the best stuff in the world for you. I used to do the same thing as well. What I do now is include Diet Coke as a “treat” on my fasting days and mainly try to drink different flavors of tea. See if you can slowly back down your consumption of diet soda, but don’t feel like you have to eliminate it 100%. Some people are very passionate about this subject, but some people are against drinking beer as well…and I think they are Crazy!

Pete,

You are bringing up a good point. I probably have never had the quality of water you are talking about. I will look into that in a bit more detail. Thanks for the compliment on my site…and a BIG thanks for subscribing to my blog!

Matthias,

I like your “Minimum ≠ optimum” part of your post. Well said. The main point of my post is just to help people who are obsessed with water. I see a lot of people drinking water non-stop, carrying water bottles around with them everywhere they go.

Fit J,

I simply don’t like to eat 6 times per day. I feel it is an unnatural eating pattern that slows people down, physically and mentally.

Terry,

Vitamins do make your urine bright yellow. So that could throw people off a bit.

Cheers!

Rusty

Yavor March 14, 2009 at 5:37 pm

I like how Rusty always tries to use his head before blindly trusting the widespread dogma.

Btw, my lab Lucky drinks water 2-3 times per day at most and only when his thirsty. Animals are good role models when it comes to living a natural and healthy life.

Will March 14, 2009 at 6:41 pm

Hah! You’ve done it again Rusty! It ALWAYS doesn’t feel good and right whenever I try to go upto that “8 glasses”. I can’t do it without feeling extremely bloated, uneasy, and puking. On a regular day, I get by with just 3 to 4 glasses. This is a huge relief! Thanks a lot!!!

Michael - theFatLossAuthority March 14, 2009 at 7:32 pm

Nice article Rusty. As stated by others, I use my urine as an indicator for hydration. Been clear for a long time;)

Marc Feel Good Eating March 15, 2009 at 7:24 am

Great post Rusty!
I’m in COMPLETE agreement. As an intersting side note, look back to see WHEN this 8-10 a day advice came out. You will find that it correlates exactly to the time when bottled water really started making a presence. Starting in the early 90’s.

Marc

pnw fitness March 15, 2009 at 7:36 am

admin

Probably some truth to tap water chemicals. Mines really not so bad, but on a recent trip to Arizona, I could swear I was drinking acid.

I’ll be on a well soon & I just bought a PUR filter. Pretty cheap, so I figured why not?

AlainaOfArc March 15, 2009 at 4:39 pm

Personally, for me, drinking about 64 oz. of water a day has made me feel great. I’ve stopped drinking any fruit juice, pop (I’m Canadian), fruit drink, etc. and have lost 5 pounds in the last month. I don’t have to pee all that much more than before, and I just feel so much clearer and cleaner. Sometimes I’ll drink a cup of white tea in there, but usually, I just stick to water (and yes, I drink the tap water, knowing full well what’s in it – I can’t afford to pay for any other type of water, but that’s a different story).

But the thing is, that’s ME. In my own path to improved health, drinking water has been one change that I found works. It’s not going to work for everyone (though I do think if the average person replaced even one glass of juice/drink a day with water, they would see improvements in their health).

We’re all different, and a blanket recommendation of 8 glasses a day isn’t going to work for everyone. But neither is saying that people get enough water from their food – it really depends on what people are eating. Lots of raw foods, then it’s possible. Highly processed, highly salted and packed with sugar? Not so likely.

Yash March 15, 2009 at 4:41 pm

Great post once again Rusty. I never bought into the 8 glasses a day thing. It seemed excessive. I think a few glasses on top of your daily food consumption doesnt hurt though. /especially considering other fitness goals that people may have. For fat/weight loss, drinking water and making sure to avoid even minimal dehydration can make the body less likely to store water weight. On the flip side, hydration is important for muscle building because more fluid helps the amino acids get to your msucles as well as siphon away some of the waste. This is basically what creatine does besides provide energy for workouts, it provides more water to your muscles. Bascially, you don’t need to go overboard, but considering we are largely comprised of water, some extra won’t hurt you.

Anthony March 16, 2009 at 1:24 am

i consciously think about getting my 8 during every day so i can relate to this post. while water is definitely healthy, as we can’t survive without it, this post was illuminating as i never considered whether or not we really not the 8, and sometimes i feel more full than i should feel. interestingly enough, water is usually all i ever drink apart from orange juice or cranberry juice.

Chris - www.fitnessfail.com March 16, 2009 at 9:58 am

Matthias said:

To all the “your body is smart” guys and girls: Why do people get fat?
————

A big part of this is that the Standard American Diet contains a ton of crap foods that our bodies are not well equipped to deal with. It is also worth considering that our body views gaining weight as a survival advantage, i.e. storing energy for the future. Most of the super dense foods that are staples today were not present during most of our evolution. The fat storage mechanisms work just fine for the circumstances they developed in.

Only eating actual food (naturally raised meat, fruit, vegetables, nuts) and only eating when you’re hungry will keep most, but not all people at a healthy weight.

brit lankan March 16, 2009 at 1:30 pm

i only found out this site three days ago, it’s ace!!, i started a bodybuilding routine when i was 15 and i gained a load of muscle but still kept the fat, ( i was chubby), im 17 now with a dramatic loss it body fat, but still having a hard time getting rid of all that cubb.

because i have to go to scool, and am exhausted all weekend, i have hard time dieting and sticking to a routine, what do u recommend

Mike OD - LifeSpotlight March 16, 2009 at 3:47 pm

Good stuff. I used to try and drink a gallon every day long ago…and spent my day in the bathroom for the most part. Now I go by how I feel….days higher in protein/fat I love the taste of water….other days higher in carbs and my body doesn’t ask for much….when I fast with IF I don’t seem to need much…..eating fruit (which is mostly water anyways) and that seems to take care of it too. Beats spending all day running to go pee every hour!

admin March 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm

Yavor,

Yeah, we can learn a decent amount from animals. I do try to dig deep into subjects instead of just trusting what is considered “common knowledge”. Sometimes it takes a long time for people to change their beliefs and it takes 10+ years after a study proves the opposite for people to change their way of thinking.

Will,

You bet. A lot of the times I can’t drink that much water either. Today I have a tough HIIT workout, so I did slam down about 32 ounces…but most days I drink much less. The main thing is that you don’t have to feel guilty about following your instincts.

Michael,

I use the urine test as well. I never thought I would talk so much about urine! Funny stuff.

Marc,

That does make sense that the bottled water companies would enjoy people to drink more water. I wonder if they funded any studies “proving” their point (like many supplement companies do).

pnm fitness,

Arizona has some nasty tasting tap water. Some pretty sick stuff in parts of California as well. I swear I have had water in California that gave me Montezuma’s Revenge. Not a knock on California…it is probably my favorite state in the US.

Alaina,

People certainly do need to adjust for their particular circumstances. There are quite a few people who would benefit from drinking a bit more water.

Yash,

People taking creatine, would benefit from drinking a little bit more water each day, but like you said no reason to go overboard.

Anthony,

Water is great stuff. If you were to chose one liquid, it is the way to go. Juice is good stuff, but if you want to get extra lean for a vacation or some special event, you should consider dropping it from your diet for 6-8 weeks. I prefer the actual fruit, because the fiber in the fruit slows the absorption of the calories. This way you don’t get a blood sugar spike, rise in insulin, etc.

Chris,

Good point. We have created a lot of calorie dense foods that don’t exist in nature. If we stuck to the foods provided by nature most of us would stay lean. Very well put.

brit,

School can tire you out, but I’m guessing that your diet may have something to do with that as well. Do you eat a big lunch or breakfast? If you do, I would suggest eating lighter for breakfast and lunch, workout after school, and eat a realistic, but generous portion of food for dinner. If you are lucky enough to have a mom that cooks for you, then eat her home cooking. This way you are getting more healthy home cooked food and less of that crap from the vending machines (which is what I ate in school…not good).

Rusty

Fit J March 16, 2009 at 7:29 pm

I see your point dude, but it’s only un-natural if you are truly forcing yourself. Here’s my detailed take on it.

As for energy levels, I have MORE energy since I eat 6 WELL ROUNDED AND BALANCED meals. When I say meals I’m not referring to a 700calorie dinner, just something small thats about 400 calories.

Small meals are easier to digest, you’ll have more energy if you eat 6 meals that are 300 calories each, as opposed to 3 meals that are 600 calories each. I’ve tested this with myself and my clients over and over.

As for it feeling un-natural… I agree, it does. At first, but I’m at a point now where I train with some serious intensity and my active lifestyle just demands it, and now it feels un-natural NOT to eat frequently. Get what I’m saying?

Anyways, my 2cents. Keep up the blog.

Tyler March 16, 2009 at 9:20 pm

Hey rusty I’ve been reading your advice about how to get the Hollywood look I use to be 185 now I am 6 ft 165-170. I was wondering if that’s to skinny. Guys at the gym see me and say I’m so small even though I have the best abs I’ve ever had at this weight. I was wondering being at 6 ft what is a good weight to be at. What are some of the other celebs at my heights weight

Simple Health Exercises March 18, 2009 at 2:33 am

Hi Rusty just thinking what a great name when writing about WATER doh … water is the most hardest liquid to get the habit of … so heres my tip to make sure you follow what this message is all about here … my way to make sure I drink enough of this liquid gold the life’s blood of this planet!! … is to have 8 small bottles dotted around my home office and every time I pass one of these bottles I take a swig and roll around my mouth a few times before swallowing to give my body time to realize whats on its way to my stomach then it seems to rest better in my gut until I’m ready for my next swig … after a month of doing it this way you soon realize the benefits of drinking the right recommended quantities of this liquid gold …your body responds by making you feel so good

Regards and all my best to you and your water habits
Phillip skinner

admin March 21, 2009 at 2:50 pm

Fit J,

That makes sense. I know different people respond to different ways of eating. I’m more of a “bigger meal and eat less often” guy, but I know some people do better with frequent eating. Overall, as long as the calories are kept in check either approach can work.

Tyler,

Sounds like you have a build similar to Cam Gigandet in “Never Back Down”…lean with sharp abs. Don’t worry about how the guys respond, the ladies are going to dig that look!

Phillip,

That sounds like a great technique to getting enough water. I still would probably wind up drinking too much, since I have the habit of chugging liquids quickly…but it does sound like a decent solution.

Rusty

Lori March 22, 2009 at 12:19 am

hello rusty…

yeah, i drink water all day… first thing when i wake, i crave it… but could we drink too much? i have drank well over a gallon at times, and i love it… i don’t feel i’m “trying” to drink, i just do…

also, i have heard that over weight people should drink more…

do you think this is true?

anyway… i love water… and enjoy it… in the morning, freezing cold, in the afternoon cool, at night cold…

i just love water… and feel i want it all the more if i drink coffee or especially soda…

ps… i am down 7 pounds, and walk/jogging 5 miles a day now!

thanks again for the great read!

Chris March 27, 2009 at 4:26 am

Did anybody else notice this in the acknowledgements of the hydration study? –

“Supported by a grant from The Coca-Cola Company.”

BMatt April 22, 2009 at 11:14 pm

haha…only when he’s thirsty…

My greyhound sometimes goes an entire day without drinking any water, and she’ll usually drink a couple cups after I sprint with her. Listening to one’s body is usually best.

Studio Element Personal Training May 27, 2009 at 10:42 pm

I always thought it was a bit exaggerated. Either way, I think most people do not get enough hydration in their daily life. I always encourage my clientele to drink more.

Alister Lane MD September 30, 2009 at 4:47 am

Good news!

Really informative Rusty – I’m especially happy to hear about coffee and other caffeinated beverages. It always seemed nonsensical to me that beverages consisting mainly of water were considered dehydrating. Nice to hear that the experts agree.

lallo badall January 12, 2010 at 10:39 am

drinking 8 glasses is too much strain on the kidneys, and on frequent nite bathroom trips.

I now drink about 4 ozs of water per day, just one trip to the bathroom.

Eric May 25, 2010 at 9:55 am

Don’t believe it. Being hungry is often confused with being thirsty. I’ve also seen stats that 75% of the people in the US are walking around dehydrated from insufficient water.

Its also an overgeneralization to say 8 glasses. I’ve seen recommendations of 1/2oz per lb bodyweight.

julius spisak February 21, 2011 at 3:45 pm

Hello! I have to drink 80-10 liters a day sweetened water. If not Drink the amount of whole body itches me. Can you tell me why?

Ahmed-LivingNotSurviving May 24, 2011 at 4:27 pm

I use to hear the thirsty/dehydration line all the time, and it NEVER made sense.

I completely agree Rusty, our bodies are way more efficient than most people think. Nice article.

Toni August 24, 2011 at 10:53 am

I have always thought drinking 8-10 glasses daily of just pure water sounded like so much work to me. I always fell short but now I do what you do, Rusty, maybe 5 glasses of water peppered in with some green tea and a cup of black coffee. That’s more than enough for me as well.

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