Water is your body's principal chemical component and makes up well over 50% of your total body weight. Everything in your body depends on the presence of water and fluids. Water cleanses your body and flushes toxins out of vital organs. Water carries nutrients to your cells, keeps cells alive and provides a moist environment for ear, nose and throat tissues. Without sufficient waters, cells in your body get dehydrated and could die. The baby requires enough water to stay alive and maintain it's health.
Every day you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. For your body to function properly, you must replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.
It, therefore, makes sense to ask how much water or fluid you should drink during pregnancy. Most experts recommend drinking about eight 8-ounce glasses, which equals about 2 liters, or half a gallon. This is called the 8×8 rule and is very easy to remember. In pregnancy, it's recommended to drink somewhat more, maybe 1-2 glasses more. Drink a glass of water or other calorie-free or low-calorie beverage with each meal and between each meal. Drink water before, during and after exercise. Make sure you urinate regularly and that your urine is not too dark which may indicate dehydration.
However, knowing and following the 8x8 rule is not enough. You should be aware that your water needs depend on many factors, including your health, how active you are, where you live, and in what environment you live. Do you exercise a lot? So you sweat much? All of these factors play a role in deciding how much water you should drink in pregnancy.
Factors that influence water needs
If you exercise or engage in any other strenuous activity or live in a warm climate that makes you sweat, you need to drink extra water to compensate for the fluid loss. An extra 1.5 to 2.5 cups (400 to 600 milliliters) of water should suffice for short bouts of exercise, but intense exercise lasting more than an hour (for example, running a marathon) requires more fluid intake.
What to drink
Water is your best and cheapest drink to replenish fluids because it's calorie-free, inexpensive and readily available. Common sports drinks without additional calories usually provide you with additional minerals to support your body.
Is it possible to drink too much water?
Although uncommon, it is possible to drink too much water. When your kidneys are unable to excrete the excess water, the electrolyte (mineral) content of the blood is diluted, resulting in low sodium levels in the blood, a condition called hyponatremia. However, this is rare and in healthy adults who eat an average American diet.