What Really Happens When You Drink A Gallon Of Water A Day?

We've all seen water enthusiasts lugging around trendy tri-colored water bottles to work, social functions, and — of course — the gym. We're told increased water intake will hydrate us, assist in weight loss, and flush out toxins in our bodies (via Healthline). And while we're inundated with information explaining just how important it is that we hit our water goal each day, we are left wondering if a gallon is really necessary. After all, consuming that much water a day can seem impossible to maintain (via Cleveland Clinic). Running to the bathroom every hour just isn't possible for those trying to keep a full-time job, raise a family, or live their lives uninterrupted.


It is true that there is conflicting information about water intake coming at us daily. It leaves us with questions like: Isn't it bad to drink too much water? How much is too much? Do we really need a gallon a day for optimal health? To help answer these questions we looked into just how a gallon of water affects the human body and how much you actually need to get the promised benefits.

The truth about water intake

About 60% of an adult human body is made up of water, and we can only live for a few days without it (via USGS). However, experts explain that while water is essential, every body is different and we don't necessarily need a gallon a day for optimal health. According to Nutrition Reviews, increased water intake is beneficial to those with a water deficit, but little research supports the idea that higher levels of water intake benefit adequately hydrated individuals.


Staying hydrated is important, though, especially if you are working out, in the heat, or feeling ill. Water does work to flush out toxins in the body, and those working overtime in the heat will need to keep their levels high (via Good Housekeeping). However, the belief that water can decrease wrinkles and make you lose weight is a stretch. Yes, water can help our skin and keep it clear, but it does not have the properties to take away wrinkles. Moreover, while there is some truth to the weight loss rumor according to The Cleveland Clinic, water isn't the fix-all for what ails us, but it is a tool we have to help us reach our health goals.

How to get enough water but not too much

In order to check your hydration levels, experts recommend paying attention to your urine. If it's incredibly yellow, you need more water. If it's a lighter color, you're probably hydrated appropriately. Since some of our water comes from food, attempting to drink a gallon a day may be a bit much. Experts say that drinking about 64 ounces a day is reasonable for healthy adults (via The Cleveland Clinic). Still, those with heart and kidney issues do need to pay more attention to their intake. Fear not, though. Water drinkers don't really have to worry about consuming too much H2O because it turns out that suffering from hyponatremia, a low level of sodium in the body due to too much water intake, is very difficult to do.


For most people, drinking when you're thirsty is good enough. If you've got weight loss and clear skin goals, upping your water intake a bit can definitely help, but won't serve as a fix-all. Combined with staying hydrated, eating a healthy amount of fruits and vegetables and staying active are still great recommendations for a healthy, balanced life (via Good Housekeeping).