How much water do you need to drink?

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Am I drinking enough water? Am I drinking too much water? How much should an active female drink? What are the side-effects of not drinking enough water? We all know that we should drink more water, but the quantity we should drink is not the same for everyone. In this post, we will help you calculate how much water you should be drinking daily.


Adverse effects of not getting enough water

Before jumping in, it’s always a good idea to remind ourselves about the consequences of not drinking enough water. This reminder isn’t just a scare tactic; it allows us to spot indicators of dehydration and can be a cue for us to drink more water than we have been drinking. Some of the adverse effects to look out for include constipation and digestive problems, joint pain, increased hunger, reductions in muscle mass and general dehydration. You can read more about the dangers of dehydration here


Dependent on age

You may have noticed infants don’t drink 7 litres of water per day. Depending on what age you are, you have different requirements for the amount of water needed. These charts from show average total water in your body as a percentage of body weight, and the ideal range for good health:

Birth to 6 months 6 months to 1 year 1 to 12 years
Infants and children average: 74%
range: 64%–84%
average: 60%
range: 57%–64%
average: 60%
range: 49%–75%


Adults Ages 12 to 18 Ages 19 to 50 Ages 51 and older
Male average: 59
range: 52%–66%
average: 59%
range: 43%–73%
average: 56%
range: 47%–67%
Female average: 56%
range: 49%–63%
average: 50%
range: 41%–60%
average: 47%
range: 39%–57%


If you would like to calculate the percentage of water in your body, you can try this water percentage calculator from



Of course, it isn’t just about how old you are; the amount of water you need to rehydrate also depends on if you are exercising or not. A lack of water can also cause aerobic fatigue, so you may not even get as much of a workout as you would if you had been sufficiently hydrated. It would be best if you were drinking about 500mL of water 2 hours before you even start exercising.

Once exercising, you should continue drinking water to replace any lost sweat. If you are unsure about how much you need, you should perform a sweat test like this one

It is also imperative to drink water after exercising to rehydrate. If you exercise regularly, you also likely know the importance of the recovery period after exercise. If you fail to rehydrate, your muscles will not be sufficiently hydrated to perform the task of repairing themselves. 

Tips for drinking more water

So what can you do to drink more water? In our modern world, one very effective way to track your water intake is by using a fitness tracker or mobile app. These will allow you to monitor how much water you have consumed and also remind you to drink more. Another way might be to fill your reusable water bottle every morning to take with you; just by having it available, you will be more likely to drink from it throughout the day. You can read more tips on how to drink more water here

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