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Are You Consuming Enough Water? Recommendations from the US National Research Council

How much water should you be consuming each day?

If you think you are consuming enough water daily; think again. The results from a report compiled by the United States National Research Council (USNRC) set the standard for guidelines.

The United States National Research Council is an operating arm of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. This bodies overall goal, or mission, is “improve government decision making and public policy, increase public understanding, and promote the acquisition and dissemination of knowledge in matters involving science, engineering, technology, and health”

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Consuming adequate amounts of clean water is essential for health and well-being. Everyone is different, so levels will vary, but in general, its wise to be aware of your water consumption levels.

The latest dietary reference intake report by the United States National Research Council recommends total of 3.7 liters for men and 2.7 liters of water women. These figures include water ingested from food sources, so it’s wise to be aware of the amount of water you are ingesting directly as well as water intake resulting from ingestion of certain foods.

These figures have been updated since the last survey, conducted in 1945 by the Food and Nutrition Board of the United States National Research Council which stated: “An ordinary standard for diverse persons is 1 milliliter for each calorie of food. Most of this quantity is contained in prepared foods.”

Those living in warmer than average climates, or who are very physically active, may need to consume higher levels. It’s important to note that using ones thirst as a guide to meet hydration needs can be a dangerous practice, often leading to dehydration.

Drinking clean, filtered water (which can be soft or hard water) is ideal, however, on average, approximately 80 percent of people’s total water comes from drinking water and beverages – including caffeinated beverages – and the other 20 percent is derived from food.

Rule of thumb : 8 glasses per day – Myth or reality?

Everyone has an opinion when it comes to the recommended daily intake of water. The most common rule of thumb is ‘8 glasses of water per day’ or ‘8 in 8’.

According to the USNRC, while drinking water on its own is the most preferred method of hydration, we also commonly get water from juice, milk, coffee, tea, soda, fruits, vegetables, and many other forms of food and beverage. in fact, solid foods make up approximately 20% of our daily water intake.

The USNRC offer no rule of thumb when it comes to hydration, so the common ‘8 in 8’ cliche is not an official guideline to be followed.

In the following situations, its strongly recommended that you increase fluid intake above the recommended level:

Increase h20 intake levels when you are:

  • Physically active during the day above normal levels.
  • Consuming a high-protein diet.
  • On a high-fiber diet (common during constipation as a method to alleviate symptoms).
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Suffering from vomiting, diarrhea, or any other illness which results in high levels of bodily fluid loss.
  • Exposed to warm or hot conditions.


“ | Where the Nation Turns for Independent, Expert Advice.” | Where the Nation Turns for Independent, Expert Advice. The National Academies, n.d. Web. 16 July 2014.

Maureen. “Water: How Much Should We Drink?” Absolute Herbal Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 July 2014. <>

“Hydration Guidelines | Beverage Institute.” Us. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 July 2014. <>

“Water – a Vital Nutrient – Better Health Channel.” Better Health Channel. Deakin University Australia, n.d. Web. 13 July 2014.<>

“15 Foods That Help You Stay Hydrated.” – N.p., n.d. Web. 16 July 2014. <,,20709014,00.html>


For more information relating to drinking water, including water softener reviews and information, visit the Water Softener Critic homepage.

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