Splash photo


Ever notice how lifeless a house plant looks when you forget to water it? Just a little water and it seems to perk back up. Water is just as essential for our bodies. That is why getting enough water every day is important for your health.

Water helps your body with the following:

  • Keeps its temperature normal.
  • Lubricates and cushions your joints.
  • Protects your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues.
  • Gets rid of wastes through urination, perspiration, and bowel movements.

Healthy people meet their hydration needs by drinking when thirsty and drinking fluids with meals. But, if you're outside in hot weather for most of the day or doing vigorous physical activity, you'll need to make an effort to drink more fluids. Most of your water needs are met through the water and beverages you drink. You can get some fluid through the foods you eat. For example, broth soups and other foods that are 85% to 95% water such as celery, tomatoes, oranges, and melons help to keep you hydrated.

According to The Institute of Medicine, your water needs are dependent on many factors such as:

  • Age
  • Health
  • Medications
  • Activity Level
  • Surrounding Climate

Two common ways to calculate your water needs are:

  1. Dietary Recommendations. The Institute of Medicine advises that healthy men consume roughly 125 ounces (about 15 cups) of total beverages a day and healthy women consume 91 ounces (about 11 cups) of total beverages a day.
  2. Replacement Approach. The average urine output for adults is about 6 cups per day. You lose approximately 4 more cups of water a day through breathing, sweating and bowel movements. Keeping in mind that food usually accounts for 20% of your total fluid intake, if you consume about 8 additional cups of water along with your normal diet, you will typically replace your lost fluids and stay appropriately hydrated.

For our June Challenge, take this quiz to test your H2O knowledge, then pay attention to your thirst and track your fluid intake for at least one week to see if you are meeting the dietary guidelines for total fluid consumption.


  1. CDC Water: Meeting Your Daily Fluid Needs
  2. Institute of Medicine