How Much Water Should You Drink on Carnivore Diets?

A carnivore diet will change many things around the quantity of water you should consume. The old myth of 8 cups a day is incredibly incorrect and can cause issues if you don't understand electrolytes and more.
Josh Koop
February 21, 2020

One of the fitness mantras that has gained a lot of traction overall in the world is drink more water. When you live a carnivore diet lifestyle though this can be problematic for you if taken to the extreme levels, why you may ask, loss of your electrolytes.

How much water should you drink on carnivore diets? The answer is to drink to when no longer thirsty when not exercising. If you are exercising you will want to add more water to your intake but also make sure to add the lost electrolytes back in, drinking more isn't always the answer.

Now that you know it is better to drink to thirst only and not to "drink a gallon a day" or "half your body weight in ounces" you have the basics down. Now we are going to look at what other options exist and whether you should decide to drink them on your carnivore diet.

Lady drinking water from a sports water bottle - How Much Water Should You Drink on Carnivore Diet
Enjoying a drink after exercising in quite enjoyable!

How Much Water to Drink on a Carnivore Diet

I would bet most of us, similar to the majority of people taken in by the "8+ glasses a day" myth, are consuming far too much water. Sometimes you have a feeling of a dry mouth not due to a lack of water but more due to the over-consumption and flushing of the sodium and electrolytes.

We have a water addiction, we have been told to drink non-stop. Now you need to learn to overcome your urge to drink continuously.


If you would like to read more about over-consumption of water Tim Noakes has a book which explains far better than myself why this is something to understand. Sometimes the less is more approach is exactly what you need and can help you to thrive instead of continue stumbling with the belief your choices are "healthy".

To be brutally honest all moisture you consume is a part of that "8 cups myth"(source) but that part which says this volume comes from most prepared foods, was never carried forward with the believe being the more you drank the better. If you were to count all the liquid that comes in your foods you need FAR LESS than you were led to believe.

Keep this in mind as you definitely don’t need to consume all the water you need through drinks alone.

It is also important to note that there is not a need to worry as heavily about not feeling thirsty. You have an amazing machine in the human body that is built to signal the need to drink long before dehydration sets in.

Can You Drink Sparkling Water on a Carnivore Diet

There is no issues specifically with sparkling mineral water like Pelligrino and Perrier. The choice is in taste and what will help you to keep to the diet long term, if this is how you prefer water you can make this part of your diet.

There is studies which show carbonation can damage enamel but this is mostly tied to soda and they were long term submersion based. It is worth reading more if you want to make a high amount of your intake of water from sparkling water instead of standard water.

What Other Things Can You Drink on a Carnivore Diet

There are a great many options available to drink while you are on a carnivorous diet that may not be beneficial to your results. Some may help you get even higher quality results, some you may not even know are full of sugars even though they are touted as "healthy".

Coffee On a Carnivore Diet

Coffee is much more of a personal choice as it isn't meat related but is one thing many are HIGHLY addicted to, addicted so bad that they can't think of life without it. I'm not going to preach that you shouldn't have it or should, I can say it can have molds and other toxins in it from storage over the long term.

As to caffeine it has many favorable effects for people which will help accelerate some weight loss and remove some irritability, though you should really attempt to remove it over time as it may give you health issues you aren't aware of. Some people are very sensitive to ALL plant foods which coffee is a direct plant byproduct.

Lemon Water on a Carnivore Diet

This comes down to a more personal take as lemon is most definitely not a meat product and is a fruit. You will want to stay away through the first month on the carnivore diet to remove it completely and if you want to add afterwards and see if you experience ill effects.

Carbonated Water on a Carnivore Diet

There is no issues with consuming carbonated water as long as it doesn't have "natural flavorings" which could contain about anything. As long as it is just straight carbonated water the worst you will get is burps to release the carbonation when you drink it.

Coconut Water on a Carnivore Diet

This is a definite no on the carnivore diet as it is basically sugar water, I know it probably has "healthy" all over the drink container but it is high sugar content. Read the label and it is probably between 20-50 grams of sugar in the drink, these are to be avoided regardless of from plants.

Saltwater on a Carnivore Diet

I prefer to salt my food liberally and not to just drink salt mixed in water, more that I don't like the taste of salty water and REALLY LOVE well salted foods as they taste much nicer and complements the foods.

If you enjoy saltwater then by all means you can supplement there as needed, it doesn't need to be constant or only that though.

Final Thoughts

While I definitely will say you need to drink water on a carnivore diet you can definitely tailor the amount to a personal need and not some mystical level dictated by the people who made us fat with the SAD. Instead focus on hunger and thirst and learn what your body is actually signalling you about, forget the old trope to drink water first to see if you are hungry or thirsty.

Over time you can look to expand outward and add other drinks in similar to foods, add one and only one for a week to two and see if you experience ill effects. If you experience side effects then you can choose to make a decision if the drink is worth the side effects from a knowledge approach.

If you read this far you are amazing! I would love to hear from you in the comments below if I helped you gain knowledge and useful information, additionally I would like to know if I got anything incorrect that you believe should be researched more and updated. As always to get the word out please join our new Carnivore Rx group on Facebook and share this out on social media!

5 comments on “How Much Water Should You Drink on Carnivore Diets?”

  1. Thanks for this write up.

    For me part of the confusion is water vs electrolytes. I can only salt my food so much, and the amount of salt I understand we should be taking is about a tablespoon and a half a day.

    I can also only salt my water so much. So to get enough sodium I have to drink a bunch of water. But then too much water flushes my electrolytes.

    This catch 22 I have yet to solve.

    1. Each person is different and I wouldn't measure anything specifically as you will just flush out what is unnecessary, I only salt my food to that perfect taste level, and if I exercise I will add a very small amount of salt to my water to replace what I sweat out. Salt and potassium balance matter more and if you don't feel lethargic or that keto flu feeling then I wouldn't jam a load of salt.

  2. Josh that was great I actually had a lot of questions about what is and is not advisable to consume for a drink and you answered all of my questions.I just started the carnivore plan after watching Dr. Berry talk about it. I have lost close to 30 pounds in about 2 months time but came to a plateau where my weight is staying the same. I'm at 275lbs. now and for my health need to get around 175-180. So I'm anxious to see how being only on a carnivore plan will help me lost the extra 100 lbs.

    1. The hardest part is learning to drink just water, and not to overconsume water either. Water is VERY heavy and can make it look like you gain weight when you ingest too much in a day. This is why you should weigh yourself every day but average the weight over the amount of days to get a true weight for yourself. Also, I will hate to say it but if you aren't working out and gaining muscle what you lose may be partially muscle mass which will result in the need to eat less calories, maybe that should be a post in itself.

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