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If you are physically active with either intense cardio or weightlifting 3-5+ hours a week, you need to eat enough that 120 ounces is basically the starting point the proper hydration.

As with most things physiological, the system is a balancing act with a lot of independent variables that need to be taken into account. If you eat two meals of 800-1k calories each, and you don't work out, a gallon of water a day is probably way too much. You may be mildly dehydrated but you'll feel just as bad flushing out the electrolytes as you mentioned. But if you're working out consistently, building muscle, and eating 3k-4k calories a day to support that level of activity, 180-200 ounces of water a day is nothing.

Good to know. I've been intentionally getting a lot more active and have had to fight a bit of thirst for fear of repeating my folly. I won't be so afraid to drink a bit more.

It also helps to spread the drinking out (which makes it harder to do IMO unless you're pretty diligent). Anecdotally I feel much better drinking slightly less water but spread throughout the day as opposed to drinking the "right" amount of water but 2+ full glasses at a time.

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