The 8×8 rule states that you should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. Which equals half a gallon of water (about 2 liters).
We were wondering if this recommendation is still up-to-date.
Is 8×8 The Key To Staying Hydrated?
If you are an athlete, it is a good starting point, but most likely you will need more. Surprisingly there is no set recommendation for how much plain water adults should drink daily. According to the CDC there are at least recommendations for daily total water intake that can be obtained from a variety of beverages and foods.
How Much Water Do I Need?
The general recommendation for women is 2.7 liters (91 ounces) and 3.7 liters (125 ounces) of total water intake for men – from all beverages and foods – each day.
How Many Cups Should I Drink Daily?
This intake equals ~11 cups for females, and ~15 cups of water for men. Be aware that 80% of our intake comes from fluids we drink, and 20% from the food we eat. Which means if women DRINK 8 cups of water, and men drink 12, their basic needs should be covered.
Can Food Help To Stay Hydrated?
Yes, especially when you choose a variety of fruits and vegetables. Many summer foods such as melons, tomatoes, cucumbers and strawberries are naturally rich in water, carbohydrates and minerals, including those all-important electrolytes. Other healthy hydrating foods are veggie soups and smoothies. An intake high in plant-based food can contribute a large amount of water to your nutrition.
How Much Do Athletes Need To Drink?
Definitely more than average adults. Additionally to the amounts mentioned before, you will need to add extra for each hour working out. The more you exercise, the more fluids your body will need.
A general guideline DURING exercising is 0.5-2L per hour. Which is a wide range, between 16-64 ounces hourly. Fluid needs are highly individually and depend on your sweat rate, your training status, your acclimatization, as well as the heat and humidity during your activity, to name a few variables.
When Should I Hydrate For Exercising?
To stay one step ahead of dehydration, it’s important that everyone starts their day and or workout hydrated, drink during activity and rehydrate when it’s over.
When exercising on a hot day, promote optimal pre-exercise hydration by ingesting 1/2 L (16 ounces) of water or sports drinks the night BEFORE a workout, another 1/2 L (16 ounces) upon waking and then another 1/2 L (16 ounces) of cool water or sports drink 20–30 min BEFORE the onset of exercise.
What Does My Urine Tell Me?
Your urine color can function as a simple indicator of your hydration status. After outdoor activities, take a quick look at your urine output. If your urine is a dark yellow (as in dark or darker than apple juice) it typically signals dehydration and need for immediate rehydration.
What Should I Drink To Rehydrate?
Generally lots of water and sports drinks with electrolytes. Choose electrolyte drinks over plain sugary sports drinks.
After lots of exercising and lots of sweating, sip frequently on water, diluted juices and electrolyte recovery drinks.
Soft drinks are a poor choice, especially in larger amounts. The high sugar concentration can interfere with your body’s ability to absorb water.
Is The 8×8 Rule Outdated?
No, but male adults and athletes (no matter which gender) will definitely need more.
The 8×8 rule came from a older recommendation made in the 40’s, when the Food and Nutrition Board — now part of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) — suggested that a person consume one milliliter (ml) of water per each calorie of food consumed. Thus, an average diet of 1,900 calories per day would dictate an intake of 1,900 ml (approximately 64 ounces) of water.
Which shows us that your need for hydration is correlated to your daily energy expenditure. The more you train, the more you expend, the higher your fluid intake should be.
Aim for 8 daily cups if you are a female, and 12 cups if you are a male adult. Add more for each hour exercising: minimum of 16 ounces = 2 cups each hour (up to 2L).