I hear it all the time, that my patients feel like they simply can't drink the "recommended" eight large glasses of water each and every day, on top of juice, tea and other beverages. But is eight glasses the right amount for everyone, or simply an arbitrary guideline that's become the accepted standard? Adults lose about 2 liters (8.5 cups) of water daily through sweating, breathing and excretion, and replenish that amount through eating and drinking. According to many doctors, the most important concept here is fluid replacement and keeping your blood moving (i.e. at the proper viscosity), but not "flushing impurities" through extra water intake. This only depletes the body of sodium and other minerals and can lead to poor nutrient absorption, fatigue and weakness.
Ideally you should be eating lots of fresh foods with high water content, such as soups, fruits and vegetables. Beyond that, your thirst level should be the number-one signal for fluid replacement. So pay attention when you're thirsty, drink until satisfied, and forget the guilt if it doesn't add up to eight!
TIP: To make plain water more appealing, put 1/2 cup of unsweetened cranberry juice in a one-liter, reusable water bottle, top off with filtered tap water, and sip throughout the day. The safest plastic bottles are those made from HDPE #2, LDPE #4 and PP #5, according to GreenerPenny.com.