T Nation

Optimum Water Intake


#1

We all know that drinking water helps when trying to lose weight. Currently I'm trying to figure out how much I should be drinking to maximize my results. I've searched around on this site, and on the internet, but there doesn't seem to be a consensus on how much is optimum.

Pretty much everyone agrees that:

1) 64oz per day is good for you
2) If your urine isn't clear you're not drinking enough

Left to my own devices without any sort of plan, my daily water intake is between 0-8oz which is obviously not good. The max intake I've ever had was back in 1996 during a USMC training operation out in the Mojave desert.

Wearing flak jackets and helmets in the middle of August while sitting in an armored vehicle or running around is about the hottest experience I've ever had. I was drinking about 12 1 quart canteens a day and honestly was still dehydrated, I just couldn't stand to drink any more.

Recommendations vary from a low end of 8 8oz glasses a day (64oz) to 0.6oz per pound of body weight (152oz, 1.18 gallons!), or even higher. This assumes normal activity levels and environmental temperature, obviously this would be more under certain conditions.

While it takes some effort, I don't have too much trouble getting in the 64oz minimum, but getting over a gallon has proved troublesome. My question is, will I see better weight loss results by drinking more than 64oz, and how much is enough?


#2

I, too, have tried to drink more than 5 liters and I simply can't do it. I just start to get ill at the thought of drinking more water after that.

I do martial arts 2-3 days a week and weight-training 3-4 days (not so much recently due to a hand injury) and even on my hardest training days when the weather was hot, I couldn't stomach more 5 than liters, and one of those was drunk during/immediately after a training session (not counting the h2o in my PWO; I have had several times where I've refilled after that and drunk another 0.5 liter immediately).

I know if I don't get at least 3 liters every day I will feel like crap after a couple days and my performance in just about everything suffers, especially fighting.

I live at ~6000 feet above sea-level and I've heard that active people up here should be getting between 1 and 2 gallons per day, and I certainly agree with the minimum, but the closer I get to 2 gallons, the worse I feel.

It seems to take about 2 days of drinking less than 3 liters before I start really suffering, and it also seems to take about the same amount of time for me to get back to a good level of hydration.

You just need to always judge by how you feel. I've always gone by the "if you wait until you're thirsty, you're late" and "if you're not always sipping on some cool, refreshing water, you're not getting enough."

However, I can say that on the occasions I get stuck somewhere and I have an empty bottle, I get totally ticked off. :slight_smile: For example, after work yesterday I took my wife shopping and I forgot to fill the bottle, and I pull up into the parking lot of the place and reached for the bottle because I was feeling a little thirsty. . . there was maybe one mouthful. I got angry.

So, I have decided that I will always have two one-liter bottles with me in the vehicle, just in case.


#3

You never said if you get it to clear?

I like water so I can drink it all day, but I seriuosly doubt it will help lose any more weight if you find yourself fighting to go to the bathroom every 90 minutes and its clear.


#4

I've only started deliberately drinking water recently, currently the clarity is sporadic, I'll be keeping an eye on that over the next few weeks.


#5

The only time my urine isn't clear is first thing in the morning, any other time it's practically water. Doesn't seem to get that way for me until I hit about 3 liters.