How much water should I drink each day?

Proper fluid intake is vital to health, pain control and bladder health. Often, dehydration CONTRIBTES to urinary urgency, frequency and leakage, as well as constipation. Read this for the answer to: "How much water should I drink each day".
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How much water should I drink each day?

Why has no one told you this before?? Purposefully cutting back on how much water you drink not only contributes to constipation, but it will actually make your pee leaks WORSE!!

Dehydration makes pee leaks worse because it concentrates your urine, which annoys the bladder, making it more reactive, and more likely to give you “the urge”. This irritability, then causes the pelvic floor muscles to over-tighten….wasting their energy so that they can’t work with your core to keep pee in when you laugh, cough, sneeze, jump, or get ‘the urge’.

So…how much water do I need to drink?

To determine how much water you should drink each day, start by taking your body weight in pounds and divide it by two.

This resultant number is your DAILY GOAL of fluid ounces to drink.

75% of this should be non-caffeinated and non-alcoholic. Hydrated bodies make for healthy brains, happy bladders and less pain!

*Remember this is a starting point! You may need to add more base fluid ounces if you are exercising, breast feeding, or living in a hot or dry climate, where you may loose more fluid due to sweat and respiration!

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How much water should I drink each day? In general, more than you are currently drinking.

Isn’t that TOO MUCH water?

In general, not a chance. 

Most of us vastly under-drink fluids each day. 

If you are drinking A LOT MORE than the above recommended amount, you could create an electrolyte imbalance called Hyponatremia (water poisioning), in which the electrolytes are thrown off.  This is common in marathon runners who drink too much water and not enough electrolytes during their effort, but extremely uncommon in daily activities.  

I’m not thirsty.

So I can’t be dehydrated, right?

WRONG!  The thirst reflex is complex.  If you’re chronically dehydrated, your brain will actually turn DOWN your thirst reflex.  If you’re always dehydrated, your brain thinks you are lost in the desert, with no access to water, so it turns down the thirst reflex, to free up energy for you to find water.

It’s not until you drink a glass of water, that your brain realizes that you now have access to water, and HOLY GUACAMOLE, it turns up that thirst reflex, and now you realize you were thirsty. 

Aren’t bodies amazing??

How do I know if I’m getting enough water each day?


  • Take a daily record of how much fluids you drink (type and ounces), versus how often (and for how many seconds) you pee, for a few days.    Complete it for 3 days, then look at your total numbers.  How close were you to your target fluid volume? 
  • It’s often a rude awakening…people think “Oh, but I normally drink more than this.”  Yeah…you probably don’t.  You just think you do. But awareness is the first step in making a change! 
  • Is your urine a light yellow color (like slightly diluated lemonade)? First thing in the morning? If so, great job. If not, your system might need more fluids.
  • Is your poop like a soft formed sausage or soft log? See this blog post on what your poop should look like for more info on this. If it’s hard pellets, you likely need more fluid!
  • If you are breastfeeding, is your milk supply constant? A decreasing milk supply can be caused by dehydration, amongst other things.

Work on improving your hydration for the next week, and see how it affects your mood, energy, poop habits…and yes, it might even REDUCE some urinary urgency and frequency!!!  

I’m drinking more water, but still have urgency, freqeuncy, and leakage. What do I do?

Great job on improving your hydration!

Also great job to you for being aware that urinary urgency, frequency and incontinence are common, but NOT NORMAL.   

If you’re still leaking and or suffering from urinary urgency or frequency, find a pelvic floor PT to assess your core muscle strength and function, as well as do some bladder retraining.

What if I can’t find a pelvic PT in my area? Or what if I’m too embarassed to go to pelvic PT?

If you can’t find a Pelvic Floor PT near you, you can work with Dr. Kelly online! Through 1:1 Virtual Visits or Pelvic Floored Online Programs, Dr. Kelly worked tirelessly since 2019 to improve access to world class pelvic health care to people all around the world!

Look for the Link to schedule on the main page (will be active in November, 2022) to schedule a one on one appointment.

And if the one on one visits aren’t in the cards, consider purchasing the Signature Lecture & Exercise Series, or one of our other Best Selling Online Programs! 

The Signature Series is designed specifically with the person who is unable or unwilling to attend a pelvic floor physical therapy session in person. 

Dr. Kelly utilized evidence-based research, as well as 16+ years of pelvic health experience as a Doctor of Physical Therapy (and one of only 72 DOUBLE Board Certified PTs in the USA), to create a practical, streamable, lessons in self assessment and exercise progressions. 

Scholarships are available if you are unable to pay. 

You are not alone, and not broken.  Given some specific guidance, and you can get your body back.

High five to you, and thanks for being a part of the Pelvic Floored Family.

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Thanks for reading! Now go grab your water bottle and drink up, buttercup!

xoxo, Dr. Kelly

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