How much water do you need?

Maintaining water balance is essential for our survival. For this reason, evolution has provided us with intricate mechanisms for regulating when and how much we drink. When our total water content goes below a certain level, thirst kicks in.

If you’re drinking fewer than five glasses a day, you might want to challenge yourself to drinking that magic number of eight x 8 oz (240 mL) glasses.

There’s no real science behind drinking eight glasses a day as the amount of water we need depends on what we weigh, how active we are, to how much we sweat.

WebMD Consumer Network’s OnHealth says we get the bulk of our daily fluids (about 80 per cent) from drinking water and other beverages, but we can also get around 20 per cent from eating food. 


100% Water
90–99% Fat-free milk, cantaloupe, strawberries, watermelon, lettuce, cabbage, celery, spinach, pickles, squash (cooked)
80–89% Fruit juice, yogurt, apples, grapes, oranges, carrots, broccoli (cooked), pears, pineapple
70–79% Bananas, avocados, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, potato (baked), corn (cooked), shrimp
60–69% Pasta, legumes, salmon, ice cream, chicken breast
50–59% Ground beef, hot dogs, feta cheese, tenderloin steak (cooked)

Source: The USDA National Nutrient Database

It says an adult woman needs approximately 11 cups of total water per day from food and beverages. An adult man needs about 15.5 cups. 

That might sound difficult to do, but check out the top water-rich foods in the graph provided and you will see that most of your daily water intake is easy to achieve.

Just top up on these foods throughout the day to boost your daily intake.

USDA National Nutrient Database stats surprisingly show that we can also get water from pizza (40%-49%), cheddar cheese, bagels, bread (30%-39%), pepperoni sausage, cake, biscuits (20%-29%), butter, margarine, raisins (10%-19%) and even walnuts, peanuts (dry roasted), chocolate chip cookies, crackers, cereals, pretzels, taco shells, peanut butter (1%-9%). Obviously oil and sugar have 0%.

If you haven’t begun the Health Storylines challenge to Drink 8 cups of water every day for 5 days, now is your chance. Click on this link to get started, and join me. 

Judy Wilkinson has used the Health Storylines app since being diagnosed with neuroendocrine tumours of the small intestine in 2016. After more than a year documenting her health via the app, she has become a Self-Care Ambassador as part of a pilot to encourage others to track their health. 

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