How much fluid do I need each day?

The amount of fluid you need daily depends on a variety of factors. The Institute of Medicine has set an adequate intake of 125 ounces (about 15 cups) for men and 91 ounces (about 11 cups) for women. These daily recommendations reflect total water consumption from drinking water as well as from other beverages containing water and from solid foods. We should aim for 80% of this total from fluids and 20% from solids. Based on these total water recommendations, men should be consuming approximately 101 ounces (about 13 cups) per day and women should aim for 74 ounces (about 9 cups) per day.

 Fit Livin' Fluid Guidelines:

  • Daily Fluid Goal:  Men: 13 cups and Women: 9 cups
  • Aim for at least 6 cups of water daily
  • Limit calorie containing fluids to 2 cups per day

Low-fat milk can make up an additional 2 cups of calorie containing fluid. Less is fine, just make sure that you get your calcium needs from other sources such as low-fat yogurt, cottage cheese, cheese, tofu or leafy greens.

No-Calorie or Low Calorie liquid at each meal

No Calorie Fluids are Unlimited

Any fluids with 5 calories or less per 8-ounce serving falls in the unlimited category

Examples of No Calorie Fluids

  • Black tea-unsweetened
  • Coffee/decaf
  • Green tea-unsweetened
  • Herbal tea-unsweetened
  • Sports drinks-no calories
  • Water
  • Water with fresh squeezed citrus (lemon, lime, orange)
  • Water-Fruggie infused
  • Water-Herb infused

Low Calorie Fluids are limited to 2 cups per day

Any fluids containing 50 calories or less per 8-ounce serving falls in this category

Examples of Low Calorie Fluids

  • Black tea-sweetened
  • Cappuccino with skim milk, lightly sweetened
  • Coffee/decaf-sweetened
  • Fruit juice-calcium fortified (4 oz serving)
  • Fruit juice-light/diet
  • 100% Fruit Juice (4 oz serving)
  • Green tea-sweetened
  • Latte with skim milk, lightly sweetened
  • Milk, skim
  • Milk, low-fat soy
  • Sports Drink-low-calorie
  • Tomato juice
  • Sparkling water with a splash of fruit juice