How much water should I drink a day?

Families, Food and Fitness May 28, 2009 Print Friendly and PDF
Adults: Water needs vary according to a variety of factors including a person’s activity level, amount of food consumed, health status, and environmental factors such as temperature and humidity. The recommendation to drink eight 8-ounce cups (64 ounces) of fluid per day is still a good way to remember the importance of drinking enough water. The general water recommendation for healthy adults is 1 to 1.5 milliliters (ml) per calorie expended (1 liter water per 1,000 calories). For a person who consumes 2,000 calories a day, the recommended amount of water would be 2 to 3 liters per day (8 to 12 cups). Children and Teens: - Children should drink between 4 to 6 cups of water per day. - Teenagers should drink 6 to 8 cups per day. Infants: - In early infancy, breast milk or formula usually provides adequate water. - In older infants, once solid foods are introduced, about 2¼ ounces of water per pound (16 ounces of food) should be offered daily. In general, infants need 150 ml per kilogram body weight. It is important to note that water should not be used as a replacement for breast milk or infant formula. Reference: Whitmire, S.J. (2004). Water, electrolytes, and acid-base balance. In L.K. Mahan, S. Escott-Stump, (ed.), Krause's Food, Nutrition and Diet Therapy, 11th ed. (pp. 164-169). Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Publishers.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.