How much water should you drink each day?

Water is an essential nutrient for humans and keeping hydrated is important for maintaining a healthy, functioning body. However, it can be hard to determine how much water you need per day as it varies depending on your age, sex, health and lifestyle. The home doctor experts at House Call Doctor have created a useful guide to help you understand the importance of getting enough water.

Why do we need water?

Water makes up 50 to 75 per cent of the human body and is required for almost every bodily function. From ridding the body of waste and regulating temperature, to carrying nutrients and oxygen around the body, water is a vital component to keeping healthy.

Recommended intake

Your age, sex, health, and lifestyle are all factors that should be considered when determining how much fluid you should drink each day. In general, men should drink more fluid than women, and adults should drink more fluid than children. The following tables display the daily fluid intake recommendations per age and gender.


Infants and children

Age Recommended fluid intake
0-6 months 0.7 litres (through breastmilk or formula)
7-12 months 0.8 litres
1-3 years 1 litre
4-8 years 1.2 litres



Age Recommended fluid intake
9-13 years 1.6 litres
14-18 years 1.9 litres
19 years and over 2.6 litres



Age or condition Recommended fluid intake
9-13 years 1.4 litres
14-18 years 1.6 litres
19 years and over 2.1 litres
Pregnant at 14-18 years 1.8 litres
Pregnant at 19 years and over 2.3 litres
Lactating at 14-18 years 2.3 litres
Lactating at 19 years and over 2.6 litres


You may need to increase your fluid intake if you:

  • Have a high-protein or high-fibre diet
  • Lose sweat through physical activity or warm conditions
  • Are experiencing diarrhoea or vomiting.

Your fluid intake requirements may be lessened if you:

  • Consume a lot of foods with high-water content
  • Are experiencing cold conditions
  • Are mostly inactive.


Dehydration is easily solved by increasing water intake, but being dehydrated can become dangerous, or even lethal, if ignored.

Symptoms of mild dehydration include:

  • Thirst
  • Dry mouth, nose, or lips
  • Headache
  • Dark or small amounts of urine
  • Dizziness
  • Light-headedness

People with severe dehydration may also show these symptoms:

  • No urine
  • Fast breathing
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Low blood pressure
  • Fever

If symptoms persist after increasing fluid intake, the home doctor experts at House Call Doctor recommend seeking medical attention.


Post Author: Donald Phillips