Water makes up your blood, removes toxins from your organs and adds moisture to your ear, nose and throat. If you do not drink enough water throughout the course of the day, dehydration could develop. This negatively affects your body’s function and you may feel fatigued. No hard-and-fast recommendations for ounces of water to drink each day exist because your water needs vary based on activity, the climate in which you live and your overall health. However, there are some basic guidelines you can follow. Always speak to your physician if you are concerned about drinking enough water each day.
The Average Woman
Each day, you lose water via your urine, sweat, breath and bowel movements. The average woman living in a temperate climate should have about eight, 8-ounce cups of water and/or other fluids per day, according to MayoClinic.com. This represents your entire fluid needs for the day, which can come from water, juice, tea or foods high in water content, such as watermelon and tomatoes. If you drink roughly this amount of water per day, yet still feel thirsty and produce dark-colored urine, this can indicate you are not drinking enough water and may need to increase your intake.
Another method you can use to determine how much water you should drink each day is by dividing your weight in pounds by two, according to the Public Broadcasting System. The resulting number is the amount of water in ounces you should drink each day. If you weigh 150 pounds, you should consume at least 75 ounces of water per day. This is a little over nine cups of water daily.
Considerations for Active Women
When you are very active, you will lose water through sweat, meaning you will need to take in more water to replace it. You also are more likely to have a high level of muscle mass, which requires more water for your tissues, according to PBS. If you are very active, you may need to drink two-thirds of your body weight in ounces instead. For example, a 150-pound athletic woman should consume almost 100 ounces of water per day, which is 12.5 cups of water each day. If you are exercising for longer than an hour, you may lose too much fluid and electrolytes to be replaced solely with water. Instead, you may need to drink a sports drink that has sodium to maintain proper fluid balance.
Drinking plenty of water during your pregnancy is very important because dehydration during pregnancy is associated with contractions that can lead to pre-term labor. Sufficient water consumption also is associated with reducing conditions that can occur more easily during pregnancy, such as constipation, hemorrhoids or bladder infections. Julie Redfern, a registered dietitian writing on BabyCenter, recommends consuming at least eight, 8 ounce-glasses of fluid per day, plus one additional 8 ounce glass for each hour of light physical activity you engage in. This equals at least 64 ounces of water per day.
Rachel Nall began writing in 2003. She is a former managing editor for custom health publications, including physician journals. She has written for The Associated Press and "Jezebel," "Charleston," "Chatter" and "Reach" magazines. Nall is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Tennessee.