I recently ran across another diet that urged participants to drink eight 8 ounce glasses of water per day and rolled my eyes. Just how long has this information been out there?
Have you ever tried to actually drink 64 ounces of water per day? That’s 3 ounces shy of a two-liter soda bottle full of H2O. I’d wear tracks in the floor coming and going from the bathroom.
I decided to find out for myself the answer to this age old question and you know what? 64 ounces is actually pretty accurate. Here’s the stats:
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are lots of variables that determine how much water you need. It can depend on the climate you live in, the temperature of your surroundings, how much you exercise, even what you eat. The best we can come up with is a general set of guidelines.
What Comes Out Is As Important As What Goes In
You want about 1.5 Liters (6.3 cups) to wind up in the toilet. Your urine should be colorless or pale yellow. In addition, your body uses another full liter (4.2 cups) of water for things like breathing, perspiration and digestion. You get about 20% of your daily liquid needs through the food that you eat like crisp veggies or a juicy steak. The other 80% comes out to 8.4 cups of water per day; eight ounces in a cup, and that’s how the daily water intake amount was arrived at.
What Goes In
There are lots of people who say that water is the only thing that counts towards your 64 ounces, but that’s just not true. Your body is happy with any kind of moisture — fruit juices, soda, tea, coffee, etc. all count to your body’s daily goal — with one unfortunate exception: booze.
BUT (you knew there’d be a but, right?)
Keep in mind that caloric drinks can be an issue if you’re trying to lose weight. Besides, the body prefers water; it’s easy to take in and process and immediately goes where it’s needed. In general, sodas should be kept to a minimum because of the high calories or additives in them. Tea and coffee are best for your body in decaf form, so limit your caffeinated options. Bottom line: most of your liquid needs should be met with water, but you can count almost anything you drink towards your 64 ounces.
The OTHER But To Keep In Mind
These guidelines are for your basic needs and don’t include how much water you need to drink when you factor in exercising. In general, you want to have 4 to 8 ounces of water for every 15 to 20 minutes of exercise; less for light workouts, more for heavier workouts.
So how much water do you need exactly? I found a pretty good calculator that lets you add lots of variables including weight, climate, altitude, and exercise to find out what you should consume for that particular day. Have fun and play with it.
What did I learn today? Sometimes a fitness myth isn’t a myth at all. How many ounces of water are you drinking per day?