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    Consumer Health: How much water do you need?

a young Asian American man outside exercising, wearing ear buds for music and drinking a bottle of water

Water is essential to good health.

Every cell, tissue and organ in your body needs water to work properly. Water is essential for maintaining your body temperature; lubricating and cushioning your joints; and getting rid of waste through urination, perspiration and bowel movements. And drinking water during or after a meal aids digestion.

But how much water do you need to drink every day? It's a simple question with no easy answer.

Thirst isn't a helpful indicator of hydration because when you're thirsty, you already could be dehydrated.

Studies have produced varying recommendations over the years. The amount of water your body needs depends on many factors, including your health, how active you are and where you live.

And, while it's uncommon, it is possible to drink too much water, which can be life-threatening.

Find out more about how much water you might need and how you can tell if you're staying well-hydrated.

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