Most people own at least one water bottle that they carry around with them all day, hoping it will motivate them to drink their daily quota of water. Companies like S`well, SIGG, CamelBak, and Nalgene are all multi-million dollar companies because most people realize that they need to be drinking more water. Why is water so important? How much water does a person really need to drink on a daily basis? How can you tell if you are drinking enough?

On average, humans can survive 7 days without water. Water is essential for metabolism, digestion, temperature regulation, removal of toxins and transporting nutrients in the body. Most recommendations suggest adults drink 8 glasses of water a day. Where did that number even come from? Back in 1945, it was suggested that the average healthy person needs 1 ml of water per calorie of energy intake. If the average person eats between 1900 and 2200 calories, that equals 1.9-2.2 liters of water, or roughly 8 glasses a day. Unfortunately, current research proves it’s really not that simple, there are a number of factors that play into our daily water intake. Body weight, environmental temperatures, physical activity levels, medications, and health status can all factor into our daily fluid requirements. Therefore, the 8 glasses a day rule doesn’t even apply to the majority of people.

Currently there is no strict numerical guideline on how much water to drink; suggestions are as vague as “drink when you are thirsty.” However, statistics show most people still don’t drink enough water on a daily basis. Most adults drink a cup or two of coffee/ tea, a caffeinated soda drink, a cup of juice, and possibly a beer or glass of wine on a daily basis. Do any of these count towards your daily water intake? They must, right?