Based on the potential benefits of proper hydration, such as reduced bladder cancer risk, how many cups of water should people drink every day?

Blue Zones Beverage Rules

Drink coffee for breakfast, tea in the afternoon, red wine at 5 p.m. and water all day. Never drink soda, including diet soda.

With very few exceptions, people in Blue Zones drink water, coffee, tea and wine. Period. (Soda pop, which accounts for about half of America’s sugar intake, was unknown to most Blue Zone centenarians.) There’s a strong rationale for each.


Sardinians, Ikarians and Nicoyans all drink copious amounts of coffee. Research indicates coffee drinking may lower rates of dementia and Parkinson’s disease. 


People in all of the Blue Zones drink tea. Okinawans nurse green tea all day long—and green tea has been shown to lower the risk of heart disease and several cancers. 

Red Wine

People who drink—in moderation—tend to outlive those who don’t. (That doesn’t mean people should start drinking if they don’t drink now.) Residents of most Blue Zones drink one to three glasses of red wine per day, often with a meal and with friends. Wine helps the system absorb plant-based antioxidants, so it complements a Blue Zones diet. These benefits may come from resveratrol, an antioxidant specific to red wine. But it may also be that a little alcohol at the end of the day reduces stress, which is good for overall health. In any case, more than two to three glasses a day for women and men, respectively, show adverse health effects. For women, the risk of breast cancer increases with less than one drink per day.


Adventists explicitly recommend seven glasses of water daily. They point to studies that show that being amply hydrated facilitates blood flow and lessens the chance of a blood clot. 

Source: Dan Buettner, The Blue Zones Solution

Getting Water Right

The often-stated “drink eight glasses of water per day” has very little scientific evidence behind it. Many of the quoted amounts come from studies backed by the bottled water industry. According to Dr. Michael Greger, founder of, the “drink eight glasses of water per day” recommendation has been traced back to a 1921 paper where the author measured his own urine and sweat and determined people lose about 3.4% of their weight each day, which comes out to about eight cups. 

So, for the longest time, the water guidelines for humanity were based on just one person. But now evidence indicates that not drinking enough water can be associated with falls and fractures, heatstroke, heart disease, kidney disease, constipation and other negative results. 

But generally, it’s healthier people who exercise who drink a lot of water, so who’s to say that people are getting sick because they drink less water versus that they drink less water because they’re sick? Greger adds that no one is going to pay for studies that can answer exactly how much water a person should drink per day because water can’t be patented—so who’s going to pay for the studies? People will have to rely on our own research as individuals to figure it out.

How much water should YOU be drinking every day?

Experts say …

About 8-11 cups a day for women and 10-15 cups for men. 

People do get water from other sources. Some comes from food and other beverages, such as tea and coffee. So for actual cups of water, it’s more like 4-7 for women and 6-11 for men.

Certain guidelines advise drinking six to eight 8-ounce glasses daily. More individualized instructions suggest drinking 0.5 ounces of water per pound of body weight each day. According to the latter recommendation, someone weighing 140 pounds should drink 70 ounces of water per day.

But, Tom Brady says …

According to his 2017 book, The TB12 Method, Tom Brady drinks 150 ounces (4.4 liters)
of water “on a given day” and “close to twice that”—amounting to about 2.3 gallons
(8.7 liters), or 37 glasses—when he exercises.

Experts agree that Tom Brady drinks too much water.

This is all part of Brady’s daily nutrition regimen for what he calls “sustained peak performance.” And for readers who would like to hydrate the way he does, he recommends the following: “Drink at least one-half of your body weight in ounces of water every day … ideally, you’ll drink more than that, and with added electrolytes, too.”


Luckbox says …

Drink when thirsty and chug until it feels like enough. However, in rare cases, drinking an extreme amount in a short time can be dangerous. It can cause the level of salt, or sodium, in the blood to drop too low. That’s a condition called hyponatremia. It’s serious and can be fatal. Some refer to it as water intoxication.

How much water is too much? 

The kidneys of a healthy adult can flush out 20 to 28 liters of water each day, but they can only get rid of about 1 liter each hour. That makes it difficult for the kidneys to keep up when someone drinks more than 1 liter per hour.

Drinking too much water causes:

1. Frequent urination 

2. Clear urine (it should be light yellow) 

3. Cramps

4. Fatigue

5. Swollen hands and feet

6. Headaches

7. Forcing oneself to drink when not thirsty


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