It is difficult to make precise recommendations as to exactly how much daily water intake any one particular individual needs to avoid dehydration. There are so many factors at play, such as activity level and climate.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM), while not making a recommendation specifically about water intake, recommends that adult men drink approximately 125 ounces (more than 15 cups) of fluids a day; adult women, approximately 90 ounces (over 11 cups). While this may seem a lot, keep in mind, this is total water intake, so it includes fluid from foods as well as beverages.
Of course, if you are engaging in physical activity or have a health condition that requires fluid control, your ideal amount will be different.
Besides drinking fluids, here are some additional tips for preventing dehydration:
- Seek out shade and avoid prolonged periods of time in the sun.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine when possible, but especially when exercising or flying.
- Be sure to drink fluids several hours prior to exercise.
- Consume more fruits and vegetables, like cantaloupe and watermelon, to increase your water intake. Of course, this should not be a supplement for drinking pure water.