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How much water do I need?

for Veterans and the Public

How much water do I need?

Drinking enough liquids is very important when you have HIV. Fluids transport the nutrients you need through your body.

Extra water can:

  • reduce the side effects of medications
  • help flush out the medicines that have already been used by your body
  • help you avoid dehydration (fluid loss), dry mouth, and constipation
  • make you feel less tired

Many of us don't drink enough water every day. You should be getting at least 8-10 glasses of water (or other fluids, such as juices or soups) a day.

Here are some tips on getting the extra fluids you need:

  • Drink more water than usual. Try other fluids, too, like Gatorade or Sprite.
  • Avoid colas, coffee, tea, and cocoa. These may contain caffeine and can actually dehydrate you. Read the labels on drinks to see if they have caffeine in them.
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Begin and end each day by drinking a glass of water.
  • Suck on ice cubes and popsicles.

Note: If you have diarrhea or are vomiting, you will lose a lot of fluids and will need to drink more than usual.

For more information, see the symptoms and medication side effects section.