Last week, I wrote about a radio station losing a lawsuit over their water drinking contest.  A lot of you were very interested in how much water to drink, and to make sure there’s no danger in too much water.  Great questions and comments, thanks so much.

Here is what a few of you said, a few questions, and some of my answers for you:

An anonymous reader asked: “I can drink just the right amount or lesser, but when I work out and sweat a lot, I drink as much as I can, but it is more suitable to drink Gatorade or any electrolyte replenishing drink instead when we perspire a lot, too much of anything destroys.”

A: I don’t drink electrolyte solution, or replenishing drinks, nor vitamin-enhanced drinks, ever.  I’ve had a few doctors over the years tell me they’re unnecessary, unless you’re a competitive athlete, which I certainly am not!  Just plain water is what I have.

Rose commented, “I was recently told that to get the correct number as to how many ounces of water you should drink per day you should take your weight & divide it in half, so if you weigh 150 pounds you should drink 75 ounces of water.”

Don also wrote about that formula, too.  “I read somewhere that one should drink half his/her body weight in water. As I am 300 pounds, I must drink 150 ounces of water a day and thus be confined to my home or be near a toilet when traveling. Am I right or wrong?”

A: I haven’t heard about this equation.  I personally think it sounds like too much, and I wouldn’t do it myself.

Noni said, “I drink 72-90 ounces of water per day…is that too much?”  Kathy was just the opposite, and cannot drink much, “Twenty seven years ago I lost 200 pounds and have maintain that weight untill about 1 year ago i have gained back 35 pounds and ca not drink but a few sips of water and about 2 hot cups of tea a day I cant lose the weight and cant drink can you help.”

A: So, how much water to drink?  Of course, I always point people to their doctor or medical practitioner first — have a complete exam.  In my book, “The Joy of Weight Loss””target=_blank” I recommend people drink at least eight (8) eight (8) ounce glasses a day.  That’s the minimum.

The Mayo Clinic’s website agrees with me, and gives us other equations, and recommendations based on urine output, food intake, etc.  They recommend two (2) liters of water (about 8 cups) or other beverages.  They add that the Institute of Medicine says “3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day and women consume 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day.”

I would personally not be so into measuring my urine, I don’t know about you!  One last thought, I’ve heard from Ayruvedic teachers that if you feel thirsty, you’re about a liter low.  I think that’s a good rule of thumb, or mouth, that is.

Here’s my original column on the subject “Too Much Water Is Dangerous,” FYI.

More from Beliefnet and our partners
previous posts