S’well, Kleen Kanteen, Nalgene: These days, water bottles seem to rival cell phones as the most can’t-live-without accessory. Many people stash water bottles not only in their gym bag, but near the bed, on their desk, in their car — and the thought of not having a cool drink within arm’s reach can cause not just dry mouth, but sheer panic.
Most of us are aware that we aren’t consuming as much water as we should be, but what about the opposite? Though not as common as dehydration, it is possible to drink too much fluid. Over-hydration happens when you ingest more water than your body can process and expel, and it can lead to serious problems.
So how much is the right amount a person should be drinking? We spoke with nutritionists and learned that the answer is not always so simple.
Jillian Greaves, registered dietitian and owner of Prevention Pantry, tells The Daily Meal, “There are a number of different equations dietitians use to calculate estimated hydration needs, but these are truly just a guideline.” Julieanna Hever, MS, RD, CPT, and author of Plant-Based Nutrition (Idiot’s Guide) and The Vegiterranean Diet adds, “Recommendations tend to vary because there are so many variables that come into play when it comes to optimal amounts of water.”
We asked 15 nutritionists about all things hydration: the amount of water you should be drinking and what can happen when you over- or under-hydrate, as well as their tips for ideal hydration. Read on for their thoughts on how much water you should actually drink.