MONDAY, July 8, 2002 (HealthDayNews) -- Recent reports have said it's a myth that everyone should drink eight glasses of water a day. That may have left many people wondering how much water you really need.

The Mayo Clinic has some guidelines that might help. First, it's important to note food contains some of the water you need. In general, the average man needs about 12 cups of water a day, and the average woman, nine cups, from all sources.

One way to tell if you are getting enough water is by noting the color of your urine. If it is pale, you are probably doing OK. However, if it's darker and has a stronger odor, you probably need to drink more water.

The clinic adds there is some evidence that drinking plenty of water can reduce your chances of getting certain diseases. One study suggested that it can reduce a woman's risk of getting colon cancer.

More information

If you want to know more about increasing your water consumption, the Karmanos Cancer Institute at Wayne State University has some advice.

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