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Drinking GoodSport

3 min read time


Meeting Daily Fluid Intake Recommendations  

Knowing how to properly hydrate is important to overall health and to protect everyday physical and mental performance. It’s also important to be well hydrated prior to beginning any intense activity, so consuming ample fluids during the day (not just during training) should be a constant goal.  

Current daily fluid intake recommendations in the U.S. are for females to consume 2.7 liters (2.9 quarts) each day and males to consume 3.7 liters (3.9 quarts) each day.

These recommended values are median values from survey data, not strict guidelines. Daily fluid needs may vary widely among people.  Body size, environmental conditions, activity level, and sweat loss combine to dictate daily fluid requirements and fluctuate from day to day. 

Thirst is not a major driver of fluid consumption during a typical day, so don’t wait until you are thirsty to start drinking. It’s best to create a plan with your daily fluid intake recommendations in mind to ensure you properly hydrate throughout the day.  Most fluid consumed during the day occurs as a result of spontaneous drinking during meals, meetings, and social gatherings.   Make a plan to have a water bottle, glass of water or other convenient option available so you can make it a point to drink throughout the day, not just at meal time.  One favorite trick - leave an insulated stainless steel water bottle with ice cold water in the car - you won’t believe how well it works to make sure you get in enough fluids!

To reduce the risk of day-to-day dehydration, it is helpful to gauge hydration status, That can be accomplished in a handful of simple ways. 

  1. Keep an eye on the color of urine; urine color should be lighter and look more like lemonade than apple juice.  If it is on the darker side, it’s indicative of dehydration -drink more.
  2. Count the number of bathroom-stops each day after the first void.  There should be a minimum of 5 per day for children, 7 for adults. 
  3. If upon awakening, thirst is present, urine is dark, and body weight is lower than the day before, dehydration is likely. Start your day with a nice big drink.  
  • Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes for Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfate. National Academies Press; 2005.
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  • Cheuvront SN, Kenefick RW. Am I Drinking enough? Yes, no, and maybe. J Am Coll Nutr. 2016;35(2):185-92.