How Much Water Should I Be Drinking?

"How much water should I be drinking?" is one of the most common questions I get.

The answer I give is "enough to keep your urine flowing and generally a light yellow color."

The old advice of 8-10 glasses of water a day is with the caveat if you aren't eating food - you have to consider the fluids in your food as part of your daily water intake - so 8-10 glasses a day is too much water for most of us.

Most active women who are exercising on a regular basis will need somewhere between 30-60 ounces of water a day to keep well hydrated.

Too much water is like running your plumbing in overdrive and can actually create overactive bladder.

Too little water will result in very concentrated urine which can also be irritating to the bladder and be a culprit in overactive bladder.

If you seek care for bothersome urinary issues, your urogynecologist may ask you to fill out a voiding diary tracking your daily input and output.

With a voiding diary alone, we are often able to diagnose bladder problems with urine leakage, retention, frequency, urgency, and overall bladder bother as simply relating to fluid intake - too much, too little, or the wrong types of fluids.

If you have bothersome bladder symptoms, look at what you drank that day and consider tracking your fluid intake for 1-2 days and see if types of fluids or amounts of fluids correlate with your bladder symptoms.

If you are seeking care for bothersome bladder symptoms, bring your bladder tracker diary along to your visit, and this will help your provider target some helpful suggestions for you to get back in control.

Image of Dr. Lora Plaskon, specialist in women's pelvic floor dysfunction at EvergreenHealth Urogynecological Care in Kirkland, WA.

About Lora Plaskon, MD, MS, FPMRS

Dr. Lora Plaskon of EvergreenHealth Urology & Urogynecology Care was one of the first urologists in the Pacific Northwest to have completed an accredited fellowship in Female Urology and Pelvic Floor Reconstruction. She has special expertise in pelvic floor disorders including urinary and fecal incontinence, pelvic prolapse, pelvic pain and sexual dysfunction.

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