While the amount of water adults consume per day depends on various factors (age, climate, exercise, and other health factors), experts suggest the adequate amount for average, healthy adults living in a temperate climate is 3.7 liters for men and 2.7 liters for women. This is equivalent to about eight 16-oz. water bottles for men and just more than six 16-oz. water bottles for women. 

That said, how much water are Americans actually drinking? The latest CivicScience polling shows that close to half (47%) of U.S. adults consume far below the recommended amount at less than three 16-oz. glasses of water per day, while nearly 40% drink between four to seven glasses and just 13% drink more than eight glasses. Men are slightly more likely than women to report drinking more water — 14% of men drink the equivalent of more than eight 16-oz. water bottles per day compared to 13% of women who drink the same.

Looking further at the data, those who drink four to seven glasses of water per day are the most likely to report they’re at least ‘somewhat healthy’ (79%) and exercise several times per week (48%).

Water Consumption Habits

Data show nearly 60% of Americans reach for a reusable cup/bottle to get their daily intake. However, looking at the most popular methods, reusable cups are the most popular way to consume water (36%), followed by plastic water bottles (29%) and reusable water bottles (22%). Disposable cups are by far the least popular option (5%), and the remaining 8% make up those who answered ‘other.’

When looking at the data by age, Gen Z adults aged 18-24 are the most likely to use a reusable water bottle (30%) but the least likely to use a reusable cup. Adults aged 55+ are the biggest reusable cup users (49%) and the smallest reusable water bottle drinkers (16%).

What type of water is inside consumers’ cups or bottles? Data show that filtered or softened water remains the most popular option (35%), with usage growing two percentage points from 2022. Water bottles still remain the second most popular option (28%), but usage has decreased by two percentage points from last year. This decrease could be attributed to the large use of reusable cups.

It’s clear from the study that many Americans are not drinking enough water and that the ways people drink water vary by age. That said, CivicScience will continue to monitor the latest water-drinking trends — work with us to learn more.