The general rule of thumb, according to the Institute of Medicine, is that women need 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) and men need roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of fluids per day.
You’ll need more if you exercise a lot, live in a place that is warm, or are pregnant or breastfeeding.
The best way to know if you are drinking enough water is to pay attention to the signs in your body. If you are well hydrated, your urine should be clear or pale yellow (note: if you are taking B vitamins, or a multi-vitamin with B vitamins, your urine will be bright yellow no matter what). Are you constipated? Most people who are constipated need more water.
The good news is that if you eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, than you’ll get about 25% of the water you need from the food you eat.
You can also spice up the water you do need to drink by trying one of these suggestions:
- Add in a splash of lemon juice or other fruit juice in your water
- Put in sliced cucumbers, lemons, limes or other fruit in your water
- Put a flavorful herbal tea bag in your water
- Try carrying around a water bottle with you and filling it up as needed.