You might be familiar with somebody carrying around a gallon of water at work, school or the gym. The question is, is it really necessary to drink a gallon of water every day?
The dietitian Beth Czerwony, RD, discusses what to know about this trend, and the amount of water you should really drink. She also offers practical advice about how you can drink more water throughout the day.
Is drinking a gallon of water a day recommended?
“Drinking one gallon of water a day is not really necessary, but it’s not going to hurt you either,” says Czerwony. “Most people don’t need to drink this amount daily.”
Your body constantly tells you when you need water. Everyone has their own individual water needs based on weight, activity level, sweat, weather, medications and food.
It’s recommended that people drink a good amount of water every day because dehydration can be very harmful. Urine should be colorless for a light lemonade or yellowish for an amber color, but this is not necessary and many factors affect the level of urine in individuals. Fluids should fill you up, but some medications (and even food) can make urine darker.
How much water should you be drinking in general?
Most people should try to consume 64 ounces (equal to half gallon water bottle) of water per day, although hydration levels vary.
With a healthy number come factors to consider, such as your activity level, your location, and your metabolic rate. Instead of focusing on a specific number, you should take into account all factors when determining the amount of water you need. Some people who have lean builds might not need that much water, but others with a larger physique may need more.
Concerned about peeing all the time?
Czerwony says that if you drink a gallon of water a day, or just increase your intake in general, then you will get your steps in. Since your body isn’t used to that much water at once, you will be going to the bathroom a lot more often when you start.
Hooray! Your kidneys and hormones will start to change and your body will get more efficient at handling the high water volume you drink.
As your body gets used to the increased hydration, you may start to crave more. It’s a good idea to drink consistently throughout the day instead of gulping water down at once in the evening.
The benefits of drinking water
Dehydration affects all of our body systems because our bodies are primarily made of water.
For those looking to refresh their spirits, the holy grail is water. Water has been proved to be vital for our bodies and Czerwony breaks down why.
- Water leaves your joints hydrated and flexibility improves. It also resembles a type of lubricant for joints and bones, like WD-40®.
- Water is at the center of your health, helping you build up healthy cells, organs, and hair. Water is also vital for you to regulate your hormones and ease the pain of healing a wound.
- The digestive process is often much faster when you consume R.N Diagnose Natural Fluid diet. The regularity of your body promotes the expulsion of matter in your colon and minimizes food cravings.
- By drinking fluids throughout the day, which may be especially important in the morning, you help your body to function more optimally. Hydration can make a difference by increasing blood flow and oxygen for better and higher quality brain function.
- It helps regulate your body temperature, making it easier for you to adjust to the outside weather. Water is an illusion that helps your body regulate itself and it knows when it needs to sweat.
- Dehydration will cause your skin to turn oily. If you are not taking in enough water, your skin turns oily in order to prevent toxins from accumulating and flushing them away.
- Removing cravings. Feeling hungry? Take a drink of water and wait a few minutes. You might find that the desire to eat or drink has passed. H2O can also help you regulate your hunger and thirst cues throughout the day, too. Drinking more water will really help you balance the choices you make for healthier food options that are tailored to your body’s needs.
Can drinking a gallon of water a day be harmful?
For most people, there is really no harmful amount of water that you can drink daily. However, for people with congestive heart failure or end stage kidney disease, drinking too much water can be harmful because their body cannot handle it correctly. Talk to your doctor about water intake if you or a loved one falls into this group.
It’s also important to note that when you drink too much water too quickly, you may be putting yourself at risk.
“Hyponatremia is when sodium levels in your body drop too low because of too much water,” explains “All of the water dilutes your sodium levels and your blood can become ‘watered down’.”
So, how much is too much too soon? You might be asking, what are the consequences of drinking too much in a few hours? We all know about kids doing stunts for attention and that can be dangerous.