How many cups of water do you need in this hot weather?

Written By Mark

Water helps restore fluids lost in various body processes such as breathing, sweating, and removing waste. It also protects against high temperatures, lubricates joints and tissues, maintains healthy skin, and is essential for proper digestion.

It’s the perfect zero-calorie drink to quench your thirst and rehydrate your body. Most people need between 4 and 6 glasses of water each day, and you may need to drink more or less. But what’s the standard?

For healthy people only

While a general rule of thumb for healthy people is to drink 4 to 6 cups, this amount will vary depending on how much water you consume from beverages and other food sources. Certain health conditions, medications, activity level, and ambient temperature also affect your total daily water requirement.

The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health website states that the average daily total fluid requirement for healthy men is about 15.5 cups, and for women about 11.5 cups. That may mean you only need 4 to 6 cups of plain water, depending on your other fluid sources, such as coffee, tea, juice, fruits, and vegetables.

Other factors that may increase the need for plain water include:

  • Activity level

People who participate in long-term physical activity, such as marathons, often need to replace water and sodium lost. If you are losing water through sweating due to exercise, you should increase the amount of water you drink.

  • Public Health and Medicines

Some medical conditions may require you to change the amount of water you drink, such as thyroid disease, kidney, liver or heart problems, or if you take medications that cause your body to retain water, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and some antidepressants. If your doctor prescribes diuretics, ask how much water you should drink when the weather is hot.

  • Outside temperatures

Fluid intake and excretion should be carefully monitored in infants, young children, and the elderly. Children have less ability to sweat and are less able to tolerate high temperatures.

Older people don’t feel thirsty as much as healthy people do, and medications and illnesses can affect fluid intake and water balance, according to the University of Nebraska in the United States. Less urination or dark yellow urine may indicate that a person needs to drink more fluids.

Watch for signs of heat-related illness, including muscle cramps, nausea or vomiting, weakness, headache, dizziness, or confusion during hot weather. If these symptoms occur, stop what you are doing, remove extra clothing or exercise equipment, drink fluids, and try to cool down or rehydrate with cool water.