Daily Water Intake
I’m wondering if I need to adjust the recommendation for daily water intake according to my body size. I am 42 years old, 5-foot-2 and weigh 108 pounds, and I cannot seem to drink all the water that nutritionists say I should in a day. I can get down about 48-55 ounces, but I also like to drink 8 ounces of fruit juice a day, and I can’t if I am full of water. I also try to eat 2-3 fruits and 2-3 vegetable servings, but my stomach just can’t seem to hold all that in a day. I have cut back on junk food in the last few years, and that helps some. —K.J., Orlando, Florida
The amount of water you need actually depends on the amount of energy your body uses. For adults, that’s about 1 to 1-1/2 quarts (a quart is equal to about 1 liter) for every 1,000 calories expended. With that in mind, nutritionists recommend about 8 glasses (8 ounces each) of water daily for someone on a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet. If you’re eating less and exercising less, you may require less water. Conversely, if you’re eating more and exercising more (or living in a warm climate), you’ll likely need more than 8 glasses. But generally speaking, people need about 8 glasses daily. That can come from drinking water and other decaffeinated beverages, and from the water that is naturally a part of solid foods. Drinking water and other beverages are the main sources. But solid foods contain a fair amount of water, too—perhaps more than you think. For instance, juicy fruits and vegetables, such as celery, lettuce, tomatoes and watermelon, contain more than 90% water. It sounds like you’re doing just fine —eating a good amount of fruits and vegetables, drinking a respectable amount of water and staying away from empty calories. You serve as a good example to the rest of us!