Water: How Much?

We often hear that we should be drinking 8 glasses of water a day. Is that right? Don't I need more at 6'1'' and 225 lbs. than say an 18 year old, 110 lb. female? How does exercise and intensity of exercise factor in?

Water is essential to every system in your body, if you're low you could become dehydrated and many of your vital systems would not function properly. Too much water and our electrolytes can become unbalanced.

I'll help you figure how much water you need per day.

1 ) The Institute of Medicine makes it easy, kind of like 8 glasses a day. For males it's 3 liters a day. Females 2.2 liters a day. 33.8 ounces in a liter for those of you not yet converted to the metric system. Of course, this doesn't take into account exercise, intensity of exercise, climate or the size of the individual. 

2) You can also calculate by drinking a 1/2 to 1 oz. of water per lb. of body weight. Not too difficult. If you're boxing, you better go with the 1 oz. per lb.

3) A more accurate way, though it will require a calculator for most of us, is to multiply your body weight by .67 and consume that amount daily. If you exercise intensely for an hour, add 1/2 to 1 liter depending on your size and degree of sweating.

This all seems a little cumbersome and complicated, hence the traditional 8 glasses a day rule. People can actually remember that. I would suggest that for people exercising at a high intensity, which requires more than those sitting on the couch, A SIMPLE RULE: KEEP YOUR URINE COLORLESS, or at least very light yellow. Now go HIT IT HARD! And yes, drink some water.