How much water should I drink everyday?

Everyone’s fluid needs are different, but the Institute of Medicine (IOM) developed an Adequate Intake (AI), or recommended average daily intake, for total water to prevent serious dehydration. The AI for healthy women is 2.7 liters (91 fluid ounces) and for healthy men is 3.7 liters (125 fluid ounces). This translates to roughly 11 cups of water for women and 15 cups for men, every day.

Sounds like a lot, right? Fortunately, total intake includes water from other beverages and food, such as fruit, vegetables, and broth.

Many healthy people meet their fluid needs by allowing thirst to guide them and drinking 64 fluid ounces of water per day (i.e. 8 8-oz cups or 2 liters) plus multiple servings of fruits and vegetables will be sufficient, but it’s not always enough for people with active IBD and others with increased losses.

To stay hydrated, consider buying a reusable water bottle and refill it often. Drink throughout the day; don’t wait until you feel thirsty.

Signs and symptoms of dehydration include thirst, headaches, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, irritability, weight loss, increased heart rate, low blood pressure, dry mouth and tongue, decreased urination, dark urine and constipation.

If you feel like water isn’t enough to keep you hydrated, then speak with your health care provider about homemade oral rehydration solutions.

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