How many bottled waters equal a gallon of water?

Figuring out how many individual bottled waters it takes to equal a gallon of water is a common question for those looking to stay hydrated on-the-go. With so many different bottle sizes available, it can be tricky to visualize just how much a gallon of water really is. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide a detailed breakdown of how many of the most popular bottled water sizes equal a full gallon.

Quick Answer

The quick answer is:

  • 128 ounces = 1 gallon of water
  • 16.9 oz bottled water = 7-8 bottles per gallon
  • 12 oz bottled water = 10-11 bottles per gallon
  • 8 oz bottled water = 16 bottles per gallon
  • 7 oz bottled water = 18 bottles per gallon

Keep reading for more details on each bottle size and how the math works out.

What is a Gallon of Water?

Before diving into bottled water, it’s important to understand exactly what a gallon is. A gallon is a unit of volume equal to 4 quarts or 128 fluid ounces. Since water weighs about 8.34 pounds per gallon, a gallon of water weighs about 8.34 pounds.

Visualizing a gallon can be difficult, but think of it as enough water to fill a medium-sized jug or a large milk carton. It’s also equivalent to four of the typical 32 oz Gatorade bottles.

Fun Fact

Since a gallon contains 128 oz, if you drank the recommended 8 oz of water 8 times per day, one gallon would last you 16 days!

16.9 oz Bottled Water

The most common bottle size for individual bottled water is 16.9 oz, which is equivalent to half a liter. This is the typical size for brands like Dasani, Aquafina, and Poland Spring.

To figure out how many 16.9 oz bottles make up a gallon, we’ll need to do a little math:

  • 128 oz = 1 gallon
  • 16.9 oz = 1 bottle
  • 128 oz / 16.9 oz = 7.57 bottles

Based on the math, it takes about 7.57 16.9 oz bottles to make a gallon. Since you can’t buy part of a bottle, round up to 8 individual 16.9 oz bottles per gallon.

Fun Fact

16.9 oz is equal to just over 591 ml. The exact conversion is 502 ml per 16.9 oz bottle.

12 oz Bottled Water

The next most common size for individual bottled water is the 12 oz size. Brands like Nestle Pure Life and Kirkland Signature often come in 12 oz servings.

Let’s break this one down:

  • 128 oz = 1 gallon
  • 12 oz = 1 bottle
  • 128 oz / 12 oz = 10.67 bottles

With 128 oz in gallon and each 12 oz bottle, we would need 10.67 bottles for a full gallon. Rounding up, it takes about 11 12 oz bottles to equal a gallon of water.

Fun Fact

12 oz is approximately 355 ml if converting to metric units. The exact conversion is 354.882 ml per 12 oz serving.

8 oz Bottled Water

While less common than 16.9 oz or 12 oz, some brands also sell individual water bottles in 8 oz sizes. This might include premium bottled waters like Fiji or more affordable options like Ice Mountain.

Let’s calculate:

  • 128 oz = 1 gallon
  • 8 oz = 1 bottle
  • 128 oz / 8 oz = 16 bottles

With the 8 oz size, it takes 16 bottles to equal one gallon. No rounding needed here since 16 is a whole number.

Fun Fact

The 8 oz bottled water size is approximately 237 ml if converting to metric measurements.

7 oz Bottled Water

Finally, a less common but still available size for individual bottled water is the 7 oz option. Brands like Propel and Lifewtr offer some flavors in 7 oz bottles.

Here is the math:

  • 128 oz = 1 gallon
  • 7 oz = 1 bottle
  • 128 oz / 7 oz = 18.29 bottles

Based on dividing 128 oz by the 7 oz size, we get 18.29 bottles per gallon. Rounding up, you would need 19 of the 7 oz bottles to equal a full gallon of water.

Fun Fact

The 7 oz serving converts to approximately 207 ml in the metric system.


To summarize the key bottle sizes:

Bottle Size Ounces Bottles per Gallon
16.9 oz 16.9 8
12 oz 12 11
8 oz 8 16
7 oz 7 18

As you can see, the smaller the bottle, the more it takes to make up a gallon. The 8 oz size requires twice as many bottles as the 16.9 oz.

Gallon Water Jugs

In addition to individual water bottles, many grocery stores also carry large gallon-sized plastic jugs of water. The most common brands for these are Nestle Pure Life, Deer Park, and Poland Spring.

Since these containers hold an entire gallon already, it takes just one jug to equal a gallon. These are convenient for storing emergency water, keeping in an office water cooler, or giving your pet fresh water. They are also an economical way to buy water since the price per ounce is low.

Fun Fact

Large 3-5 gallon plastic jugs are also commonly used for drinking water coolers. These hold between 3-5 times as much as a 1 gallon jug.

Reusable Water Bottles

Reusable water bottles are popular eco-friendly alternatives to disposable plastic water bottles. However, their capacities can vary more than disposable bottle sizes.

Some of the most common reusable bottle sizes include:

  • 32 oz = 1 quart
  • 24 oz
  • 22 oz
  • 18 oz
  • 16 oz
  • 12 oz

A gallon of water would equal:

  • 4 filled 32 oz reusable bottles
  • 5-6 filled 24 oz bottles
  • 5-6 filled 22 oz bottles
  • 7 filled 18 oz bottles
  • 8 filled 16 oz bottles
  • 10-11 filled 12 oz bottles

The variety of reusable bottle sizes means you can choose one that fits your hydration needs. Just keep the 128 oz per gallon rule in mind when filling up.

Should You Drink a Gallon of Water Per Day?

Now that you know how many bottles equal a gallon, is it healthy to drink that much water every day?

Here are some key considerations:

  • General guidelines recommend 8 cups (64 oz) for women and 12 cups (96 oz) for men. Very active individuals may need more.
  • Drinking too much water can cause water intoxication by diluting levels of sodium and other minerals in your blood.
  • Risk of overhydration is higher for people with low body weight and conditions affecting sodium levels.
  • Most people get additional water from food and other beverages. All fluids count toward your daily total.
  • Thirst and urine color are good indicators of hydration status for healthy individuals.

For most people, getting 1 full gallon (128 oz) of water per day is excessive and unnecessary. Stick to general guidelines and adjust your intake based on activity levels, sweat loss, climate conditions, health status, and personal thirst cues.

Fun Fact

Water needs can vary significantly based on body size. Larger or more active individuals may require more than smaller, sedentary people.

Water Intoxication Dangers

Drinking too much water can result in a dangerous condition called water intoxication or hyperhydration. This happens when excess water dilutes the sodium in your blood to dangerously low levels.

Since your body relies on sodium and other electrolytes for normal nerve and muscle function, very low sodium can lead to:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Fatigue and muscle weakness
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness or coma in severe cases

While athletes and endurance runners sometimes overhydrate, water intoxication can also happen from drinking many gallons of water over a short period of time.

Cases of water toxicity have been reported from overzealous water drinking contests. For this reason, competitive water drinking is extremely dangerous and should always be avoided.

Fun Fact

To prevent dangerously low sodium, sports drinks like Gatorade contain sodium and potassium to help replace electrolyte losses from heavy sweating.

Tips for Staying Hydrated

Here are some tips for staying well-hydrated throughout your day without going overboard on water intake:

  • Drink when thirsty – Thirst is an effective indicator to drink more, especially if your urine looks dark yellow.
  • Choose water most often – Plain water is best for hydration. Limit sugary juices and sodas.
  • Eat your water – Foods like fruits, veggies, and soup add to your fluid intake.
  • Opt for reusable bottles – Carry a reusable bottle to make drinking water on-the-go easy.
  • Drink before, during, and after exercise – Extra water is needed to offset sweat losses.
  • Check urine color – Pale yellow to clear urine means you’re well hydrated.
  • Monitor sodium intake – Consuming enough sodium and electrolytes prevents low blood levels.

Sticking to these tips will help you stay hydrated and avoid the risks of over-consumption. Remember that water needs vary, so find the right balance for your individual health status and activity level.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does bottled water expire?

Bottled water itself does not expire, but the plastic bottle and water quality can slowly degrade over an extended period of time. For best taste, it is recommend to drink bottled water within 6 months to a year after purchasing.

Is it safe to drink a gallon of water a day?

Drinking a full gallon (128 oz) of water daily is not recommended or necessary for most people. Intaking more than your body can excrete risks dangerous electrolyte imbalances. Stick to general guidelines of 64-96 oz per day instead.

How much water do you need each day?

Daily water needs range from 64-96 oz (8-12 cups) for most adults. Exact requirements vary based on climate, activity level, body size, and overall health. Drink enough to prevent excessive thirst and keep urine pale yellow.

Can you drink too much water?

Yes, drinking excess amounts of water can cause water intoxication or hyperhydration when sodium levels become dangerously diluted. This is most likely from intentionally drinking multiple gallons in a short period of time.

How many bottles of water should you drink a day?

Most healthy adults will meet their hydration needs by drinking 8-16 oz every 2-3 hours throughout the day, which equals 64-128 oz total from water and other beverages. If using bottled water, this would equal 5-10 bottles (16.9 oz size).

The Bottom Line

When it comes to bottled water, a gallon is equal to:

  • 8 bottles (16.9 oz size)
  • 11 bottles (12 oz size)
  • 16 bottles (8 oz size)
  • 18 bottles (7 oz size)

Drinking an entire gallon of water every day is not necessary or recommended for most people. However, keeping adequately hydrated by sipping water consistently throughout the day is important. Drink enough to satisfy thirst and maintain light yellow urine. Staying hydrated offers numerous health benefits, so make water your beverage of choice whenever possible.

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