Hydration Calculator—How Much Water Do You Really Need?

Person reading a newspaper and holding an Owala bottle to stay hydrated


In the United States, the average person drinks eight cups of water per day. This equates to half a gallon per day and more than 182 gallons per year. Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it?

Yet while health experts have traditionally recommended that people drink at least eight cups of water per day—known as the 8x8 rule—the reality is that water needs vary by individual.

We’re sure you’re wondering how much water you need. We’ll show you how to determine how much water you should drink each day using our hydration calculator method.

We’ll also examine the health benefits of drinking sufficient water each day, the dangers of failing to do so, and useful tips for drinking more water. Grab your Owala® bottle and let's get started.

How Much Water Should I Drink a Day?

In theory, a person could survive for weeks without food. But you can only survive without water for about three days. Our bodies are made up of about 60 percent water and it is essential that we drink sufficient water each day to prevent dehydration.

So what is sufficient when it comes to drinking water?

If you’re looking for a “how much water should I drink a day calculator,” we have some answers for you. According to the Institute of Medicine, the amount of water that humans should consume each day is:

· 3.7 liters per day for men

· 2.7 liters per day for women

For men, this equates to 15.6 cups. Three liters should be consumed in the form of beverages, with the rest coming from foods.

 For women, this equates to 11.4 cups, with approximately 2.2 liters coming in the form of beverages. As you can see, these figures are notably higher than the old 8x8 rule.

But gender is just one factor that helps determine the recommended amount of water that a person should drink each day. Next, we’ll take a look at more of these factors.

What Other Factors Determine How Much Water Should I Drink?

As we have seen, adult men should consume approximately 131 ounces per day, while women should aim to drink 95 ounces. It is worth noting here that women who are breastfeeding are recommended to increase their total water intake to 13 cups (104 ounces).

For children, it is more nuanced depending on their age. For example, children between the ages of four and eight should drink five cups of water per day (40 ounces). Between the ages of nine and 13, children should increase their daily consumption to 7–8 cups (56–64 ounces). For kids between 14 and 18 years old, the recommendation is between eight and 11 cups (64–88 ounces).

Are you a gym regular? You’ll need to add a few more ounces. People who exercise frequently need to pay special attention to their water consumption, particularly just before and after their workouts. According to the American Council on Exercise, you should aim to drink 20 ounces of water approximately two to three hours before exercising. Just before working out and immediately after completing your session, you should drink eight ounces of water.

Feeling crummy? Drink more. If you suffer from diarrhea, fever, or vomiting, you’ll need to increase your water intake. This is because your body loses more fluids than usual when you’re sick. In order to keep your electrolyte balance more stable, you can also take drinks with electrolytes.

Finally, you should consume more water if you live in a hot climate or at a high altitude (more than 8,200 feet above sea level.)

As you can see, there is a range of factors that determine the most suitable amount of water that you should drink. To calculate your needs, start with the baseline recommendation and add extra ounces depending on the variables that apply to you. It’s that easy.

What Are the Health Benefits of Drinking Water?

Aside from looking cool while carrying your Owala water bottle, some of the benefits of drinking sufficient water include:

· Maintaining body temperature within a normal range

· Protecting the spine and other tissues

· Cushioning and lubricating the joints

· Helping to eliminate waste (through bowel movements, urine, and sweat)

· Keeping your skin hydrated and healthy

· Flushing bacteria from the bladder

· Stabilizing the heartbeat

· Carrying oxygen and nutrients to the cells

When you fail to drink sufficient amounts of water, your body and organs are unable to function properly. The bottom line is that being hydrated has a legitimate impact on your health and well-being.

And when you feel good, you have more energy and enthusiasm to do the things you love.

What Are the Dangers of Not Drinking Enough?

When your body loses more water than it takes in, you become dehydrated. Some of the most obvious signs that you are dehydrated include fatigue, thirst, infrequent urination, or urine that is unusually dark in color.

Other symptoms of dehydration include:

· Overheating

· Unclear thinking

· Constipation

· Mood changes

· Shock

· Kidney stones

On the other hand, drinking too much water can also be dangerous as it can decrease the body's sodium levels. This condition is known as hyponatremia. Symptoms include fatigue, confusion, nausea, irritability, headaches, weakness, and seizures. The average water drinker is rarely at risk for hyponatremia, but it’s wise to be aware of the symptoms just in case.

Tips to Consume More Water

How can you drink more water? First, take note of the above information as it will help you determine the correct amount of water you should consume each day.

Once you know your water goal, establish a daily hydration routine, you can simplify the process of knowing exactly when to drink water.

Next, make sure you have the best water bottle in all the land: an Owala® water bottle, of course. Features like our FreeSip® spout—which lets you sip a little or swig a lot to your liking—will make it far more enjoyable to drink up. Each bottle has a convenient carry loop that makes it super simple to keep plenty of water by your side. An insulated Owala bottle will keep your water chilled for up to 24 hours. Plus, the quirky color combos (and a few tamer neutrals) mean there’s an Owala bottle to suit everyone’s taste.

In addition to drinking, pay attention to eating water-rich foods such as celery, melons, broccoli, pineapple, and bell peppers. And finally, if drinking plain water feels like a chore, try adding a natural flavor enhancer with a slice of fresh orange, lime, or lemon.

Hydration Calculator: Determine Your Daily Water Needs

Have you been wondering, “How many water bottles should I drink a day?” The answer is that it depends. The hydration calculator information above will help you to determine the perfect amount of water based on your gender, age, activity level, location, and other factors.

And we’ll help you pick the perfect bottle to stay hydrated. Owala water bottles are designed exclusively for people who drink water—and that includes you. Check out our full range of water bottles, feel free to reach out to us with any questions, and get ready to get hydrated.