If you ask most people how much water they should be drinking each day, they’ll almost always say that it’s eight glasses a day. They aren’t wrong, but there is a lot of ambiguity about that statement! It’s the rule most of us have heard since we were young and it’s an easy one to remember. But how big should those glasses of water be? And do other liquids like coffee and soda count? It’s time to take the mystery out of your water intake. We found the answers to all of those questions and more.
Should I really drink 8 glasses of water a day?
The eight glasses a day rule is a good one to live by, but it’s sort of a general rule. Your own body might require more water, especially if you are very active or tend to sweat a lot. You might need more water if you live in warmer climates, too. Some health experts think that eight glasses a day should really be the minimum amount you take in, but that ideally, you should be drinking water consistently throughout the day.
Ultimately, you’ll need to do what’s right for your body. Aim for eight glasses of water a day at a minimum and if you still feel thirsty, drink more. Even the first symptoms of thirst are a sign of dehydration and that you should be drinking more water.
How big should the glasses be?
The term “a glass” is pretty ambiguous. Even if you look in your own kitchen cupboards, you probably have glasses of a variety of different sizes. However, when it comes to the “8 glasses a day” rule, the recommendation is an 8-ounce glass. That’s less water than you probably think; most medium lattes are 16 ounces. That means you only need to be drinking four medium-sized lattes worth of water to be meeting the minimum requirements. Suddenly, that 8 glasses a day seems much more manageable!
Do other liquids like coffee and soda count?
Speaking of lattes, do those tasty beverages count towards your water intake? Some medical experts feel that a better rule of thumb than “8 glasses of water a day” would be “8 glasses of fluid a day.” But not all fluids are equal when it comes to hydration. Water is, hands down, the best liquid you can drink for your body. Other liquids can count, too, including those with a drink enhancer, teas, milk, and fruit juices. You’ll want to be careful with what you count as a liquid towards your fluid intake goal, though. Drinks that contain caffeine or alcohol can act as diuretics, meaning you’ll need to empty your bladder more often, which can cause you to become dehydrated much faster. Also, drinks with a lot of sugar can do more harm to your body than good, so they should be avoided as much as possible.