You already know you need to drink plenty of water every day. Water aids digestion, is a component of all cells and tissues and makes up a large part of your blood volume, just to name a few of its functions. You need a certain amount of water each day to keep your body running, but in some cases, your recommendation may go up a little. According to the Institute of Medicine, water may be consumed from selected food sources, including all beverages, including plain water, as well as foods rich in moisture.
You should aim to drink about 91 ounces or approximately 11½ eight-ounce glasses of water every day, the Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine reports. If you’re pregnant or nursing though, you’ll need even more. Throughout your pregnancy, you should drink 101.5 ounces or 12½ eight-ounce glasses of water every day. Then, if you breast-feed your little one after delivery, you’ll need 128.5 ounces or 16 eight-ounce glasses of water each day.
Water for Young Kids
The amount of fluid your kids should drink on a daily basis is a bit different. Infants up to 6 months of age need approximately 23.5 ounces or three eight-ounce fluid daily, while babies 7 to 12 months old require about 27 ounces, which is a little less than 3½ eight-ounce glasses a day. However, note that bottle-fed babies get adequate fluid intake through formula or breast milk alone. Between 1 and 3 years of age, your little one should have 44 ounces or 5½ eight-ounce glasses of fluid every day. But that amount increases to 57.5 ounces or approximately seven eight-ounce glasses daily for kids between the ages of 4 and 8 years.
Preteen and Teenager Requirements
Once your kids reach that preteen era, recommendations vary by gender. Boys ages 9 to 13, for example, require 81 ounces or approximately 10 eight-ounce glasses of fluid every single day. However, a preteen girl in the same age bracket requires 71 ounces or close to nine eight-ounce glasses a day. Between 14 and 18 years of age, your teen son requires 111.5 ounces or 14 eight-ounce glasses a day, while your teen daughter should get approximately 78 ounces or close to 10 eight-ounce glasses daily.
The water recommendations are just an adequate amount required by the average person and, according to the Institute of Medicine, "Moisture in food accounts for about 20% of total water intake." Sometimes you need even more fluid. Exercising makes you sweat. For exercise sessions up to an hour long, you’ll need roughly 1½ to 2½ eight-ounce glasses of extra water, MayoClinic.com explains. If you’re working out for over an hour though, you could need more, depending on how much you sweat and how long you exercise. Living in a hot climate or at a high elevation can also lead to fluid loss, because you’re sweating more and losing moisture through rapid breathing. If you are sick and vomit or have bouts of diarrhea, you will also need to consume more fluids.
The exact amount you should be drinking during these special circumstances varies by person. Your doctor should be able to give you a more specific recommendation. Although rare, it is possible to drink too much water. Going overboard dilutes your blood and throws your electrolytes out of balance, which can lead to serious health problems and possibly even death. However, this situation is more likely to occur in endurance athletes who might drink a lot of water all at once in an attempt to rehydrate.