The Amount of Water You Actually Need Per Day

Make sure you stay hydrated.

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Eight, 8 oz. glasses of water a day: it’s a rule that’s been burned into our brains for years as the ideal amount of fluid to drink each day. Yet no matter how many times experts say that’s not quite accurate, many still believe “8×8” is the magic amount.

What this means is that simply listening to your thirst is the best way to gauge when to drink. Another way to monitor hydration is to look at your pee before you flush. You want it to look like lemonade; if it’s darker than that, you should down a glass.

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To gauge how much water you specifically should take in during exercise, Huggins recommends doing a small experiment on yourself.

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This is your “sweat rate,” Huggins says. It’s the amount of water you should drink during or after your next workout to replace what you’ve lost. (You can also use an online calculator for sweat rate; just plug in your numbers.)

Complicated much? We agree. Huggins estimates that most people lose between one to two liters of sweat for each hour of moderate intensity exercise. But ultimately thirst should still be your guide.

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You already know that dehydration can be dangerous, but over-hydrating may actually be just as bad.

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Because “it is impossible to recommend a generalized range especially during exercise when conditions are dynamic and changing, there is not one size that fits all!” she adds.

So the best method to keep you in that sweet spot between over- and under-hydrated is, as with many things, to listen to your body.

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