Tuesday, May 3, 2011

How Much Water Do You Really Need?

Let me start this post by saying that I LOVE water. Even as a child, I would refill my water glass at dinner 2 or 3 times before anyone else had finished their first. Often I wondered (as did those close to me) if perhaps I had diabetes as I drank so much more than average. I have been tested, and the verdict? I'm fine. I'm just thirsty. Here's my current bedside table: you can see my stack of books and magazines, my ginormous container of pretzels (almost out!) and my collection of water bottles.

About 250 ounces of water

 The old standby of 8 glasses of water a day would never work for me. By noon, I'd be wanting more. Others I know are perfectly happy to have a few sips throughout the day, and maybe a bottle with exercise. Can we both be right? How much water do we really need?

Runner's World has an article that gives a formula for a moderately active woman, using pounds. I'll plug my own stats in to get the results:

118 (body weight) x .31 = 36.58 ounces

Holy. Cow. Apparently this is enough water for me on rest days (when I don't run). Our diets supplement the rest of the water our body needs with water containing foods. I can guarantee that this would never work for me, but it's interesting to note. Maybe some of my less-thirsty friends have the right idea?

Keep in mind that runners/exercisers would need to add more water depending on how much they are sweating out. How much more? Because this is an individual thing, your scale is the best way to figure this out. Before you set out on your run, weigh yourself and write down the number. When you return, weigh yourself again and compare the two numbers. For every pound you lost, you need 16 ounces of water to rehydrate yourself.


Some interesting tidbits on hydration:
** As we get fitter, we sweat more. Obviously, we need to drink more in order to prevent dehydration.


**Hyponatremia is the other end of the spectrum, and means excessive water consumption, and low sodium levels in your blood. Women are more prone to this than men. 


**In the 1960's, the Boston Marathon was run without ANY fluids along the route. It was believed that drinking water would cause stomach cramps.


How much water do you drink daily? Any extra during exercise?
I realize this might be abnormal, but I drink around 150 ounces per day. If I don't get the water, I survive, but I think I'm so used to it now after so many years of drinking a lot. During an hour long run, I'll drink anywhere from a few sips to a 20 oz bottle, depending on heat. 


Do you buy bottled water? Use a special filter? or are you lucky enough to have clean water from the tap?
I bought a LOT of bottled water when we first moved, but now we refill them using the Brita Filter. This way I don't have to wash a ton of glasses, but it's much better for the environment!

56 comments:

  1. I thought I drank a lot of water, holy cow! lol. You are so healthy and I bet your kidneys just love you. I can't believe the amount of people I have met that don't like water. How can you not like water? Its so refreshing! Great post!

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  2. i usually feel like I could float because I drink so much water :) i try to make sure now though I'm getting enough electrolytes because I was flushing my body out

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  3. This is interesting. My water intake varies a LOT. It seems like the more I drink, the more I want, though. And I always want more water with meals than other people seem to. Sometimes running makes me want more water, and sometimes it makes water seem pukey. No real rhyme or reason :)

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  4. I could have written this post. Michael actually says that I'm "addicted" to water. I LOVE it, & I must have it or I get a raging headache. Waiters hate me, because I go through so much water at a meal.

    It's natural to me, and I hate having to stop drinking 2 hours before a run (to avoid peeing myself). I get really dehydrated if I'm traveling or whatever, & can't have as much water as I'd like.

    I probably drink about the same amount of water as you. I don't drink soda or tea (rarely a cup of green tea). I drink a cup of coffee in the morning, and sometimes I have either a G2 Gatorade (after a long run) or a Vitamin Water Zero if I'm craving something sweet.

    I think this is completely person-specific and that you should drink as much as your body craves, barring any health issues or guidance from a health care professional that you need less.

    The only downfall? I can only last about an hour without a bathroom break, which means I always have to get up during long meetings to excuse myself. I blame it on having two kids, but it's really because I'm pounding the water. :-)

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  5. Holy novel! Sorry about that. :-)

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  6. I drink water like a madman too. My coworkers think I'm crazy... I just like to think I'm hydrated ;) But I drink way over the recommended 8 glasses a day and sometimes my stomach gets sloshy :)

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  7. I think I drink a lot of water also. And wine. I would say I drink around 80 - 90 oz a day (water, not wine). If I am at home and can easily refill my water bottle, and take restroom breaks every 10 minutes I drink way more.

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  8. I have never been a big water drinker but just recently vowed to get atleast 60oz a day. It has been pure torcher and my bladder is going crazy! We buy bottled water but we also have a Brita....though my tap water isn't too bad either.

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  9. I drink about the same as you- at least 150 fl oz/day. I've always loved water though and I don't drink anything else because I don't like juice or milk or soda.
    I read this article once about sweating-I've always wondered why when I sweat my face literally turns into a salt block. Apparently, this happens to people who are very hydrated and drink a ton of water. Who would've known.

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  10. i'm a water lunatic. i drink it all the time. the down side to that, though, is that i have to pee every half hour. it sucks, because i have to literally dehydrate myself when going on a car trip or a hike or anything where i won't have constant bathroom access.

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  11. I used to drink a lot of water until I discovered coffee! That counts right? I drink a lot water otherwise. But you know I don't eat or drink when i run. I don't run as long as a lot of you all. Maxing out around 10+ miles. Maybe it's because I'm in Seattle and it's so moist here!

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  12. I drink a TON too! I usually refill my camelbak water bottle 2-3 times while at work and then when I am at the gym I will drink another 2-3 bottles and then at home I will drink another 2 bottles full. So basically I am drinking 224 oz of water on a regular day. Some days I am extra thirsty and others not as, but typically I drink a ton too! I always feel so bad for waitresses at restaurants because I am constantly having them re-fill my water glass.

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  13. 150oz? That's a lot of water! I always have a Nalgene water bottle with me (BPA free model, of course), and drink throughout the day, but there's no way I go through five of them.

    I guess I probably get more water through my diet than the average person, though, since I eat a ton a fruits and veggies (is it really that weird to eat four oranges and six bananas a day, in between meals?)

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  14. I LOVE THIS POST! I am so interested in learning more about hydration because I think it is SO important. I do not drink as much as you but ever since I started carrying around a water bottle I try to refill it 4 times per day...so that comes out to about 88 ounces. Sometimes I do not do as well and then I feel so dehydrated the next day..I hate that feeling! Thanks for all of the info...that formula told me that I would only need about 45 ounces per day?? crazy. i think i would feel weird and dehydrated on so little water!

    I used to HAVE to have 32 ounces of soda per day. drinking water with the crystal light packets has helped me cut back to treating myself only every once in a while...which I love :)

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  15. From a teachers stand point (limited bathroom breaks) I try to still get in 2 nalgene bottles during the school day and then another at home. But this is recently. I just quit soda which I drank 3-4 bottles a day. So I actually feel so much better and not jittery when I have had water versus caffiene.

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  16. OH gosh! I couldn't survive off that calculated amount of water AT ALL!! I drink around 180 oz a day. . .I'm ALWAYS thirsty! It gets annoying sometimes!!!

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  17. oh i am a water FIEND! I love love water, and have a water bottle at home, work, in my car, everywhere. I pretty much panic when i DONT have water nearby... it completely throws me off!! I love this post but dont think I drink quite as much water as you :) its great for not binge eating too! all the more power to you for staying hydrated! xx

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  18. I am the worst when it comes to drinking water. I always have to drink something fruity so I have found sparkling water does the trick for me, it is carbonated but no calories and I dirnk two liters of it a day. Sometimes I slip in a few diet cokes, but I know that does not count ;)

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  19. This post is so interesting thank you for sharing. I am a big water drinker and usually drink at least 100 ounces a day. However since I have been sick this week I have noticed that I have drank much less....weird? It just doesn't taste good for some reason and I fill like I'm forcing myself to drink it. Anyway I am getting a little off topic but I think this is a very interesting topic.

    I am interested to know how water consumption before and during races effects performance. Thanks for sharing and have a great day! :)

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  20. I NEVER consume what I should and am chronically dehydrated. I really need to work on it!

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  21. Holy cow, could you actually imagine people ran a marathon without water?! Unbelievable!

    I'm one of those hardly drinkers. I drink water because I know I need to, but I could go all day without drinking anything on a non-run day and feel fine. I feel weird in the opposite direction. I like the clean feeling I get when I drink a lot of water throughout the day, so I'm always sure to have a cup at work so I can keep filling it up. I make a contest out of it for myself so I drink enough.

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  22. WOW-- this is so interesting! Great post girl-- I learned alot! I love love love water, but sometimes I feel like I am dehydrated and I learned that once you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated! But, I have been working on increasing my water consumption alot, and it is working :)

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  23. great post. as i was readign i chugged my cup of water that has been sitting here for a while. i strive for about 8-10 cups a day. and i usually succeed.

    thnx for the remider!

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  24. Awesome post! I was tested for diabetes because i drank do much water when I was younger too! For some reason I've always loved water and besides coffee it's the only thing I drink 99% of the time.

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  25. I probably drink a little more than my calculated amount (47oz), but should drink more with the extra running. Does pizza have water in it?
    Oh, and I refill my water bottle in the drinking fountain at work and use a Brita Filter at home.

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  26. GREAT post, I am fascinated by this topic, because I also drink around 150+ oz/day (via my bpa free Nalgene bottle) and always have a hard time figuring out how much to drink on long runs (salt block face= me), I always feel overhydrated or under, I can never get it just right!

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  27. I will be the 800th person to say that i love this post. I almost hate going on trips with people I don't know well for fear they will think my constant fluid consumption is crazy! haha.

    Maybe I drink too much, but I'm just that thirsty! I'm exactly your size and at least drink 100 oz a day so TOTALLY know where you're coming from :).

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  28. I too am a thirsty girl! Drink up. Your body will tell you when its had enough.

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  29. I didn't use to drink much water, then I found out that I have acid reflux and had to give up sodas almost completely so I learned to like water and now I drink it all the time aside from Gatorade, but I love it!

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  30. Man, that is a lotta wata. I don't like plain water, so I mix in an ounce or so of Gatorade or juice to spruce up a glass. I'm lucky if I get two glasses a day (except when I'm running/lifting)

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  31. Love water too. I don't drink milk or soda so water's my go to. I'm currently drinking at least 100 oz. per day, and I too refill the bottles to be green and save money.

    runningtobeskinny.com

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  32. I use a Brita, and I drink at least a gallon a day, often two. I drink when I'm bored...while I'm on the phone...every 2 seconds at work...and in the summer, I drink 2 liters right after a long run on the spot!

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  33. Confession: I recently just started drinking water like a crazy person. But I feel GREAT! I have a ton of water bottles I need to recycle now. Maybe I should just buy a water bottle?

    I'm a new follower btw! Thanks for the tips!

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  34. I'm all about the Brita!

    That's a really interesting stat about the Boston Marathon. To think, no water stations, no Gu, Shot Blocks, or Beans! And they survived!

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  35. I also drink a lot of water. I find that I just all around feel better when I'm really well hydrated. I don't see any drawbacks unless you don't like peeing.

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  36. i drink a ton of water, i think i drank almost 2 liters just sitting at work today.

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  37. AHHHH I LOVED THIS POST!!! Seriously, SO SO informative. I can't believe that Boston didn't used to offer WATER!?!?! It is all tap for me...Utah has GREAT water:) LOVE THIS POST!!!!

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  38. Great post. For me it really varies from season to season.

    In the colder months, I tend to drink my water during the day in the form of tea with lemon, or herbals. I do drink water when I workout out. I also drink milk and almond milk and coffee (which I know is a diurectic).

    In the summer I drink much more water. Plain water. I do like it. I just don't like to drink it when I am feeling cold.

    We buy bottled water to take sailing with us and I usually have a few bottles in the car too; otherwise, I drink tap water and happy to live somewhere were it tastes good.

    Thanks for the reminder. I will have some water right now!

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  39. I am with you. I drink A LOT of water! I am just thirsty! Great post, lots of good info!

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  40. First of all - thanks for the sweet comment! Made my day!

    And I'm not good on water - but I drink all day long every day. I go through water, juice, hot chocolate, and tons of soda (I know so unhealthy) -I can't imagine only drinking 40 oz of water! That's insane!

    Thanks for the post- very interesting!!!

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  41. can you believe I've actually done both! too little and too much! But with the heat and humidity here lately, I've had to add in alittle extra sea salt to my drinks. Thanks for these tips Vanessa.

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  42. I'm right there with you. I think I've conditioned my body to crave water (if that's possible???) my mouth gets so parched after 10 mins!

    Also. Love your collection of smart water. It's my favorite kind!

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  43. I buy a new BIG smartwater water bottle every couple weeks and then just keep refilling it throughout the day... I drink anywhere from 1-5 of those babies a day depending on how much i exercise, how hot it is, how bored i am... lol

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  44. I probably drink anywhere from 50 to 100 ounces a day, depending on how thirsty I feel. Some days it seems like I am constantly refilling my bottle, and others I have to make an effort to drink water.
    I used to only have one or two sips during exercise, but now I'll have anywhere from 10 to 24 oz. depending on the length and intensity.

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  45. That's crazy... anything under 2L and my throat feels like a desert... on days I do hot yoga it's usually 3 - 3.5 L! I may be overdoing it a teeny bit! I try to drink filtered water as much as possible and limit the amount of plastic bottles I buy.

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  46. I drink water and only water. I love it but drink no where near as much as you do! I carry a bottle around all day. I usually get it from a water cooler when I'm at work or a Brita filter when I'm at home.

    Great post! :)

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  47. I love water! I don't know what I would do without it!. I like to keep the big 50 oz water bottles on hand so I can keep track of how much I am drinking each day. I shoot for 2 of those!

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  48. I love Smart Water and can get it pretty cheap at BJ's Wholesale Club.

    I try to drink at least 4-5 bottles of Smart Water a day!

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  49. woohooo your awesome drinking all that water! and i thought i drank a lot... but now.. i cant even compare to you!! oh my, imagine running a marathon without ANY WATER!! i would probably die. which wouldn't be good!!!

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  50. Dang, girl! You are really good with hydrating yourself. I would drink until I was blue in the face if my bladder weren't the size of a peanut. Seriously, that is what holds me back from drinking more (we have to use a key to get into our work bathroom...which is really quite a pain).

    We're really lucky in NYC to have really great-tasting water, so I've been drinking tap for years. I hear there is fluoride in tap water, which is good for the teeth. I recently got the Soda Stream, so I make sparkling water straight from the faucet. It's great!

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  51. My husband likes to say that we sweat so much because we are "efficient cooling machines" lol. Cracks me up.

    I drink a ton of water and green tea all day. I literally always have something to drink with me. But then I always have to pee too!

    I hope you didn't eat all the pretzels in one go (that could explain the thirst!) lol jk ;)

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  52. Holy crap, that formula is nuts. I'd feel dead if I drank that little of water. I use a 24 oz camelbak to drink water and I usually drink 4-5 a day. So that's 80-120 oz of water a day. And that's just water...so I'm like you!

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  53. OH MY GOD I could never imagine running a marathon without water! I think I am extra thirsty too and I am constantly drinking water. I refill my 20 oz glass numerous times a day. I've always wondered why people sweat more the fitter they are?

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  54. Great post!

    I admit I don't drink nearly as much water as I should. But now that I started working again i'm taking my own tumbler cup or water bottle and refill it often (which worked for me really well before at helping keep hydrated).
    I have a brita filter but it's still packed away so at home I drink tap water or bottled water (I know not good for the environment :(
    I also love Smart Water. Some people don't taste a difference but it's good to me and I can easily drink the huge bottle.

    Do you drink soda, sports drinks or vitamin water?
    I like vitamin water zero and rarely drink soda.

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  55. I struggle with this all the time! Ok on my way to fill up my 32 oz water bottle!

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  56. I did a little experiment after reading this, as I normally drink 100-150 oz/day. I tried only drinking around 60oz (about 2 Nalgene fill-ups) during the workday and then whatever I want in the evening. In all honesty, I do not feel any worse or more thirsty, so for me I've realized I drink so much water out of habit more than thirst! Also, as an added bonus, I no longer have 'sloshy stomach' on my after work runs and I don't feel as bloated at the end of the day. Maybe drinking 150 ounces while sitting on my a@@ at a desk all day isn't necessary after all..

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