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Everyone needs to drink water. Just how much, on the other hand, is not an answer many people know off-hand. There are several factors that can influence your unique daily fluid recommendation, including, but not limited to, gender and age. Life circumstances, like pregnancy or climate and physical activity level can also impact how much water you should drink a day.
Adequate Intake (AI) levels for total daily fluid have been established by the National Academy of Medicine, but do not specify exact requirements for drinking water specifically. These general guidelines recommend women consume approximately 2.7 liters (91 ounces) of total water each day—from all beverages and foods—while men’s targets are set at approximately 3.7 liters (125 ounces daily) of total water.
Recommended intakes for water are based on median intakes of generally healthy individuals who are adequately hydrated. However, you can be adequately hydrated at levels below as well as above the recommended levels.
Are You Drinking Enough Water?
About 80 percent of people's total water intake comes from drinking beverages—including water, coffee and tea, sweetened beverages, etc. The remaining 20 percent (on average) is derived from food.
A few watch-outs: prolonged physical activity and heat exposure increase water loss and therefore may increase your daily fluid needs.
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