Why Are Water Bottles 16.9 Ounces?

Many of us have made New Year’s resolutions that involve our fitness. We want to lose weight, get in shape and lead a healthy lifestyle.

One way we can do that is by drinking more water. According to one report, 2/3rds of Americans do not drink enough water. We know we should be drinking more water, but for some reason we do not. To increase our water intake, we may keep track of how many plastic water bottles we drink.

If you keep a tally of how many plastic water bottles you drink, you will be marking down your water consumption 16.9 oz at a time. Which leads me to today’s Wonder Why Wednesday question.

Why Are Water Bottles 16.9 Ounces?

When I began researching this topic, I expected an elaborate answer. I thought that maybe the inventor of the plastic water bottle had two lucky numbers, 16 & 9, so he made his bottle big enough to hold 16.9 oz. There has to be some crazy reason that it is 16.9 and not an even 17 or better yet, a nice sold 20oz, right?


Turns out the answer is simple…if you know your oz to liter conversions.

16.9 oz = 0.5L.

So while 16.9 oz may not be a nice even number, half a liter is. Seems simple enough.


5 thoughts on “Why Are Water Bottles 16.9 Ounces?

  1. Or is there science behind it? Your bladder usually holds 500 mls during the day and 800 at night. Your body can only process 500 mls of water in an hour. Anymore than that would be pointless and get flushed out. So…..is the 500 ml bottle of water designed specifically for the body based on intake and output?……it seems so.

  2. Very interesting. I was reading the instructions on a zero sugar kool-aid package and it said to mix one packet with a 16.9 oz water bottle. That’s what sparked my interest in this post 🙂

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