How much water should I drink a day to get glowing skin?

Drinking enough water is one of the best ways to get glowing, healthy looking skin. Water hydrates the skin cells and brings nutrients to the surface, giving your complexion a natural radiance. But how much water exactly should you aim to drink each day for optimal skin health? Here’s a look at the recommended daily water intake for glowing skin.

How Does Drinking Water Give You Glowing Skin?

There are several ways that staying hydrated helps improve the look and feel of your skin:

  • Moisturizes skin – Water hydrates skin cells and plumps them up, minimizing the look of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Removes toxins – Water flushes out toxins and waste products that can cause dull skin.
  • Delivers nutrients – Properly hydrated skin better absorbs nutrients like vitamins and minerals that are essential for radiant skin.
  • Reduces inflammation – Water calms inflammation that can lead to skin conditions like acne and eczema.
  • Boosts circulation – Drinking water improves blood circulation to the skin, giving your complexion a healthy glow.

How Much Water Should You Drink?

The general recommendation is to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily, which equals about 2 liters or half a gallon. However, your ideal water intake can vary based on factors like your health, activity level, and climate.

Here are some guidelines for how much water you should aim to drink for glowing skin:

If you live in a temperate climate:

  • Women should drink around 11 cups (2.7 liters) of water daily.
  • Men should drink around 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of water daily.

If you live in a hot or humid climate:

  • Women should drink around 13 cups (3.2 liters) of water daily.
  • Men should drink around 17 cups (4 liters) of water daily.

If you exercise:

  • Drink an extra 1-2 cups (237-473 ml) of water before exercise.
  • Drink an extra 1-2 cups (237-473 ml) of water every 30 minutes during exercise.
  • Drink an extra 2-3 cups (473-710 ml) of water after exercise.

Try using an app or water bottle to help you track your daily water intake. Look at the color of your urine – light yellow means you’re well hydrated while dark yellow urine is a sign you need more water.

How Does Drinking Too Little Water Affect Your Skin?

Being dehydrated can really take a toll on your skin. Effects of too little water include:

  • Dry, flaky skin
  • Itchy skin
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Dull, lifeless complexion
  • Under eye dark circles
  • Redness and inflammation
  • Acne breakouts

Make sure to drink enough water daily for smooth, glowing skin. Also apply moisturizer after bathing while skin is still damp to seal in hydration.

What Are Signs You’re Not Drinking Enough Water?

Watch for these signs of dehydration so you know when to reach for more water:

  • Fatigue and low energy
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Dark yellow urine
  • Dry mouth and lips
  • Muscle cramps
  • Constipation
  • Low urine output
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Fever

If you’re experiencing severe signs of dehydration like confusion, weakness, or fainting, seek medical care right away.

Does Drinking Too Much Water Cause Problems?

Drinking excessive amounts of water is rarely a problem for healthy adults with normal kidney function. The kidneys are able to remove excess fluid from the body.

However, drinking too much water can be dangerous in certain situations, like:

  • Psychogenic polydipsia – a mental condition causing excessive thirst and water drinking
  • Kidney disease – reduces the kidneys’ ability to excrete excess water
  • Some medications – can impair the body’s anti-diuretic hormone leading to retention of excess water
  • Ecstasy use – can cause compulsive water drinking leading to hyponatremia
  • Endurance athletics – drinking too much water without adequate electrolyte intake can cause hyponatremia

Signs of overhydration include nausea, vomiting, headache, confusion and muscle cramps. In very severe cases, brain swelling (cerebral edema) can occur, which is a medical emergency.

Tips for Drinking More Water

Having trouble getting enough water every day? Try these simple tips:

  • Carry a water bottle with you throughout the day for easy sipping.
  • Start each morning with a glass of water to rehydrate.
  • Drink a glass before every meal.
  • Set a reminder to drink water every 1-2 hours.
  • Choose water over sugary drinks.
  • Infuse water with fruits, vegetables and herbs.
  • Eat water-rich foods like cucumber, watermelon and celery.
  • Drink a glass after exercise or time outdoors.
  • Take small sips even when you don’t feel thirsty.
  • Freeze fruit in ice cubes to flavor your water.

How Does Caffeine Impact Hydration?

Caffeine is a mild diuretic, meaning it causes increased urine output to flush water from the body. However, for people who regularly consume caffeine, this effect is diminished.

For most people, caffeine does not significantly impact hydration status. Drinks like coffee and tea can contribute to daily fluid needs, however they contain less volume than water.

To stay hydrated if you drink caffeinated beverages, aim for a higher overall fluid intake and balance caffeine with increased water consumption. Avoid caffeine a few hours before bedtime to reduce urine production while sleeping.

Does Alcohol Dehydrate You?

Yes, alcohol is dehydrating. Drinking alcohol causes you to lose more fluids than you take in. Several factors make alcohol dehydrating:

  • Alcohol inhibits the anti-diuretic hormone resulting in increased urination.
  • Vomiting and diarrhea from excessive alcohol consumption leads to fluid losses.
  • Alcohol can delay thirst signals, making you less likely to drink enough water.
  • Alcohol causes inflammation which requires more fluid to repair tissues.

To counteract dehydration when drinking alcohol, have a glass of water between alcoholic drinks and drink extra water before bed. Avoid alcohol before physical activity which already requires extra hydration.

Does Eating Certain Foods Hydrate You?

Some foods are comprised mostly of water, making them excellent choices for hydration. Here are some of the foods with the highest water content:

Food Water Content
Cucumbers 96%
Watermelon 92%
Strawberries 91%
Cantaloupe 90%
Broccoli 89%
Grapefruit 88%
Peaches 88%
Oranges 87%
Pineapple 87%
Celery 95%

While these fruits and veggies can contribute to fluid intake, plain water should still be your primary beverage for maximum hydration.

Should You Drink Water Before or After Eating?

The optimal timing for drinking water depends on your goal:

  • Before meals – Drinking 16 ounces of water 30 minutes before eating can aid digestion and metabolism.
  • During meals – Sipping water between bites of food can aid swallowing and digestion.
  • After meals – Drinking 8-16 ounces of water 30 minutes after eating helps absorption of nutrients.

Drinking excessive amounts immediately before or during meals can potentially slow digestion by diluting stomach acids. Have a glass before meals and sip as desired with your meal, then finish with another glass 30 minutes after eating.

Does Cold or Hot Water Hydrate You Better?

Cold and hot water are equally effective for hydration. Body temperature does not impact how quickly or well water is absorbed.

For immediate thirst quenching, cool or cold water may be preferred. However for soothing hydration, many people enjoy warm or hot water.

Listen to your body’s preferences and stay hydrated with the temperature of water you find most appealing. The key is consuming adequate total water throughout the day, regardless of temperature.

Is Soft Water or Hard Water Better for Hydration?

Soft water and hard water both provide identical hydration benefits. The classification of hard or soft simply refers to the mineral content.

  • Hard water contains more calcium and magnesium.
  • Soft water has been treated to remove some mineral ions.

There is no evidence that hard or soft water impacts hydration status or provides greater health benefits. The higher mineral content of hard water does not make it superior for hydration.

Does Hydration Impact Acne?

Yes, staying hydrated can reduce acne flare-ups in several ways:

  • Water flushes toxins from the skin that can cause acne.
  • Hydration keeps skin from producing excess oil that can clog pores.
  • Water improves circulation and delivery of nutrients to the skin.
  • Drinking water helps the skin repair from the inflammation of acne.

Make sure to drink an adequate amount of water daily for clear, glowing skin free of acne. Reduce foods high in sugar or unhealthy fats which can spur oil production.

Does Lack of Water Cause Wrinkles?

Dehydration can exacerbate wrinkles and fine lines on the skin. Water helps keep skin looking plump and youthful in several ways:

  • Hydration allows skin cells to retain volume and fullness.
  • Water improves circulation and nutrients to maintain collagen.
  • Drinking water helps skin repair from any damage causing wrinkles.
  • Lack of water leads to dryness that can cause skin to crack and crease.

While aging itself causes wrinkles, staying well hydrated can help slow their progression and reduce their appearance. Moisturize skin while still damp after washing to lock in hydration.

Does Water Help Your Skin Glow?

Drinking plenty of water is one of the most effective ways to give your skin a natural, glowing look. Here’s how it works:

  • Moisturizes – Water hydrates skin cells from the inside out for a dewy, supple look.
  • Detoxifies – Water flushes toxins that dull complexion.
  • Minimizes inflammation – Staying hydrated reduces inflammation that can create redness.
  • Improves circulation – Adequate water intake promotes blood flow to the skin.
  • Brightens – Well-hydrated skin better reflects light for a luminous glow.

Make glowing skin a priority by drinking the recommended amount of water for your age, gender, activity level and climate. Aim for mostly plain water instead of sugary drinks.


Drinking enough water each day provides numerous benefits for fresh, glowing skin. Aim for around 2-4 liters of total fluid daily from water, fruits, vegetables, and other hydrating beverages like tea. Drinking water improves moisture, delivers nutrients, removes toxins, minimizes inflammation and boosts circulation for radiant skin.

Carry a water bottle as a reminder to sip throughout the day. Infuse your water with fruits or herbs for flavor. Be sure to drink extra water with meals, exercise, caffeine and alcohol. Make hydration a priority for optimal skin health and a natural glow.

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