On a fairly regular basis, we hear that people need to drink more water and the associated implication that most of us are dehydrated most of the time. I thought it would be helpful to answer the inevitable question of how much water should I drink a day? and to dispel some common myths relating to hydration.
In terms of answering the question how much water should I drink a day? – the majority of sources recommend that 2.5 litres a day is the optimum amount of water needed to allow the body to operate properly. However, there is some misunderstanding about whether this is the total amount of water needed to be consumed.
A diet high in fresh fruit and vegetables (which contain around 97% water) will provide around 1-1.5 litres of water. The body itself can actually recapture some water from chemical responses within cells. Although the total fluid intake is quoted to be 2.5 litres for adults, because some of this comes from our food, the actual amount of water necessary to drink is around 1.5 – 2 litres per day.
Two thirds or about 60% of our bodies are made up of water. It is an essential component for healthy living. We need the water we consume to replenish water lost through breathing, sweating and urinating. Water does an important job by removing toxins, transporting nutrients around the body and protecting sensitive tissue.
How Much Water Should I Drink A Day Video
When thinking about how much water should I drink a day, it is useful to understand the 9 key benefits of drinking enough water regularly.
1. Helps to maintain consistent energy levels – because the body is made up of so much water, if we don’t drink enough we will feel tired and lethargic.
2. Improves concentration – a lack of water can cause reduced energy levels in the brain, so drinking plenty of water results in enhanced focus and concentration.
3. Helps to fight infection by flushing out toxins – it also helps to prevent against urine infections and can rid the body of kidney stones.
5. Helps you to get more from your exercise – obviously if you are doing a strenuous workout then you will need to drink plenty of water to replace fluids lost through exertion and sweating. If you drink whilst exercising, your body will work harder and you will gain more from the session.
6. Can help those wanting to shed weight – water can reduce appetite, it also contains no calories and no sugars/additives etc and is incredibly good for you.
7. Reduces headaches – this can often be a sign of dehydration, sometimes coupled with dizzy sensations. Drinking water will help to ease headaches.
8. Improves skin tone – models are often seen clutching their water bottles for this very reason. Water helps to clear the skin of any impurities, as well as removing toxins from the body that can affect the skin.
9. Helps your heart – the blood is made up of over 80% water. If we don’t drink enough water, it makes the blood thicker and the heart has to work harder to pump it around the body. A study found that people who drank more than 5 glasses of water a day cut their risk of a heart attack by around 40%.
Other things to consider when thinking about how much water should I drink a day?
It is crucial to spread out your water consumption throughout the day. The most health benefits are associated with drinking plain water, however, the water contained in tea and coffee and other soft drinks will still count towards the daily total. It had often been thought that tea and coffee were diuretics, which means that they urged the body to dispense with fluid. That is now known to be untrue. Large quantities of caffeine are not recommended as it can reduce mineral absorption from food. If you choose to drink decaffeinated tea & coffee (Red Bush or Rooibos Tea which is naturally caffeine free) then you can drink as much as you like.
Choose what you drink carefully. Sometimes tap water is better than some bottled waters, which can contain excess salt. Squash can contain sugar, artificial sweeteners and preservatives. Fruit juices also contain lots of sugar, which can damage teeth. Fizzy drinks do not contain many nutrients and are often loaded with sugar. Milk and plain water are the healthiest choices.
In answer to the question how much water should I drink a day? – it is widely recommended that adults drink around 1.5 – 2 litres of water per day.