Bottled water comes in sizes as small as 8 ounces per bottle and as large as 2.5 gallons per fridge pack. Purified water can also be bought in 5-gallon jugs to be used with commercial coolers in offices and warehouses.
The most common personal bottle sizes are 16.9 ounces, like 0.5 liter, and 1 liter. These standard sizes are associated with the standardization of measurement across the world. Some U.S. companies still sell traditional 20-ounce, 32-ounce and 64-ounce bottles of water thanks to U.S. preferences for ounces. Anything over 1 to 1.5 liters typically also reverts to traditional fluid ounce measurements.
Let’s get right to the point: there are 128 ounces in a gallon, so to drink a gallon of water in a day, you’d have to drink 16 eight-ounce glasses. It sounds like an impossible task, but a 2008 study by Obesity magazine found that drinking more water every day can help support weight loss efforts.
And according to another 2009 study on obesity, people who drink a couple of glasses of water before a meal tend to consume up to 75 fewer calories in that particular session. While this amount may not seem impressive at first, study author Brenda Davy, Ph.D, says it can add up to losing 10 pounds or more in a year.
What does drinking a liter of water look like in a day? Ounce for ounce, that’s a lot of liquid to ingest – and lots of trips to the bathroom – but spread throughout the day, it’s an achievable goal.
Good to learn: What Candy Bar Is Considered Good Luck In Japan?
How much water should you drink per day?
How many ounces of water you should drink each day depends on several factors including your body weight, activity level, and current health. While there isn’t a magical number of glasses of water to drink in a day, many health authorities recommend using thirst as a guide.
If you eat a lot of fruits and vegetables and consume drinks that contain water, you are probably meeting 70% of your water needs through your overall diet. While most of that amount comes from the beverages you drink, there are some estimates that we get around 22 percent of our water from food. This is good news, especially if you struggle to sip water during the day.
But in case you need some concrete numbers to help guide your water intake, the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine have determined that adequate daily fluid intake is:
- Approximately 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of liquids per man
- About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids per day for women
- Additionally, the Institute of Medicine recommends that a healthy adult drink 78 to 100 ounces (about 9 to 13 cups) of fluid per day, on average.
Conversion rate from Ounces to Gallons
Water is often referred to in ounces, especially when it comes to how much you need to drink in a day. But what happens when the bottle you are using is in gallons? How are ounces converted to gallons? First, let’s go over how many ounces are in a gallon:
128 fl.oz. = 1 US gallon
160 ounces (UK) = 1 UK gallon
If you’re not thrilled with the idea of lugging a gallon-sized plastic container around with you, you may be wondering how many glasses you need to drink to get to a gallon. A typical glass of water is eight ounces. If you use a glass of the same size, you will need to drink 16 glasses of water (8 ounces each) to reach one liter per day.
Steps to drink a gallon of water
Step 1: Chug Water when you wake up
After waking up you should drink two glasses of water. Make sure each glass contains about eight ounces of water. An easy way to do this is to fill up a 16-ounce water bottle and place it next to your bed every night so you always have easy access to water.
Step 2: Sip the water as you prepare
Have a glass of water while you prepare breakfast and get dressed. Then, during breakfast, drink an extra glass, which will help you digest the meal and make sure you start the day well hydrated.
Keep an 8-ounce glass of water that you use when you are at home. Decorating it can also help you remember to keep drinking, making the experience a little more fun.
Step 3: Have a glass of water with your lunch
Enjoy three glasses of water before lunch. If you exercise during this part of the day, drink additional water to replenish the reserves you excrete through sweating.
Have two glasses of water for lunch. If your lunch is high in protein or fiber, having this amount of water also aids digestion. Remember to always keep a full bottle of water with you, wherever you go, so that you can continue to hydrate throughout the day.
Step 4: Enhance the flavor of your water
Consume at least three glasses of fresh water between lunch and dinner. Add a lemon wedge, a few slices of fresh mint or cucumber to give your drink a refreshing flavor and add variety, but don’t add sugar, which reduces the effectiveness of all the hydration you’re doing.
Remember, your total water intake can come from other drinks as well. If you need a sugar-free alternative to water, consider a commercial soda water drink like La Croix.
Step 5: Drink water with dinner
Drink a glass of water while you make dinner, then wash the dinner down with two more glasses of water. At this point you should have consumed almost a liter of water. It is important to drink most of the water before late evening to reduce bathroom breaks during the night.
Step 6: End the day by drinking more water
Instead of a dessert or a late night snack, drink a glass of warm water, perhaps with some lemon or grated ginger, which can have a calming effect before getting ready for bed.
It is easy to confuse feeling thirsty with hunger, causing many people to overeat when in reality they are just thirsty.
Keep track of how much water you are drinking
Committing to increasing total water consumption is only half the equation; you also need to keep track of how much you actually drink each day. There are several ways to calculate the water each time you reach a glass.
A simple, convenient method that keeps all your information in one place is MoreFit’s MyPlate Calorie Tracker. All you have to do is drink your water, enter the information in MyPlate and the program does the rest. With helpful charts and graphs, you’ll always know how close you are to your one-gallon goal for the day.
If you’re tracking efforts, proving you’re running out of your daily quota, try some of these tips:
- Instead of a sip of water with your morning medications or vitamins, drink an eight-ounce glass.
- Heavy coffee drinker? Make a full portion of water between the cups.
- Do the same when drinking alcohol, alternating cocktails or beer with a full 16-ounce glass of pub water (which counts as two servings).
- Drink 20 ounces of water two hours before a workout, drink about 10 ounces every 15 minutes of the workout, and another eight ounces as soon as the workout is completed.
- Are you hungry when the 3pm crash? Drink a glass of water as you may just be thirsty.
- Never leave the house without a reusable water bottle.
- Order water at your restaurant meals and save the cocktail for dessert if you still have space.
The health benefits of drinking water
Your body needs water to survive. Plain and simple. But in addition to the requirement of sustaining life, water also has countless benefits that contribute to your overall health, including:
- Water helps protect your joints as you move.
- Water helps regulate core body temperature to a constant 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit through sweating and breathing.
- Water can help you lose weight.
- Water removes toxins from organs and helps eliminate waste (helps relieve constipation).
- Water carries nutrients and oxygen to the cells.
- Water helps protect the spinal cord and other sensitive tissues.
Side effects of drinking too much water
Even if you’re worried about your weight, don’t drink large amounts of water, which can lead to overhydration. In addition to people trying to lose weight, this can sometimes happen with endurance athletes who drink to excess believing they prevent dehydration.
Unfortunately, if taken to excess, overhydration can lead to hyponatremia, a condition characterized by low levels of sodium in the blood. Symptoms include irritability, confusion, nausea, headache and, in severe cases, coma.
Since there is no “one size fits all” recommendation for the amount of water you need to drink in a day, knowing if you are too hydrated can be difficult. A general rule of thumb for endurance athletes is to weigh yourself before and after a long training session. This can help determine how much water you’ve lost and how much you need to drink to replenish your body.
When it comes to dehydration, heatstroke, and overhydration, it’s best to let the symptoms be your guide and see your doctor right away if in doubt.
What do you think?
How much water do you drink every day? Did you know the general guidelines for water consumption? Do you usually wait until you are thirsty to drink water? Or do you sip constantly throughout the day? Have you ever tried drinking a liter of water a day? Share your thoughts and questions in the comments below!