Ask a room full of experts and you’ll get a room full of different opinions. The general consensus is you should drink eight 8-ounce cups of water per day to maintain normal body function and prevent dehydration. This is commonly known as the 8×8 rule. Some experts think you should drink more. Some say we can survive on less. Let’s take a step back and determine how much you should drink daily.

Although your body is sixty percent water, you are constantly losing water through normal body functions like sweating and urination. The goal is to drink enough water to prevent dehydration due to natural water loss your body experiences daily.

Some people scoff at drinking 64 ounces of water each day, but thankfully, there is a variety of ways to get enough water in a day. Two liters, or eight 8-ounce cups, may seem like a lot initially, but if you think about a commercial bottle of water carrying about 17 ounces, you really only have to drink four bottles a day.

How do you break that down so it doesn’t feel like your whole day is devoted to monitoring your water consumption? You break it down into easily achievable goals.

In the morning, your first beverage should be water. Leave a cup of water infused with lemon by your bedside to get your metabolism going. Yes, room temperature is best for that first drink of the day. Next, have a cup with every meal—breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If that seems like too much in a short period of time, carry a large water bottle with you and sip on it throughout the day. It will help keep hunger at bay, make you feel fuller longer, and will help you stay hydrated throughout the day.

Studies suggest that your water consumption has a direct connection to the amount of energy you have and helps with brain function. If you’re working out, you know you’re supposed to stay hydrated, but did you know water may help with your performance? Keep a log of your water consumption and see for yourself. See if you notice a difference in your mental acuity and your energy levels when you increase your water consumption.

Another easy way to determine how much water you should drink is to think of your body weight as ounces instead of pounds. If you weigh 120 pounds, think of it as 120 ounces and divide that number in half. You need to drink 60 ounces of water each day. Divide that by 8. Someone weighing 120 pounds would need to drink seven and a half 8-ounce cups of water a day to consume the minimum amount of required water. Also, if your urine is darker than normal or has an odor, it’s a good chance you need to increase your water intake. Easy, right?

Now you do the math for your body and keep a log to make sure you stay on track.

By: Ava Goldwing