How Much Water Should You Drink?

Our Agony Uncle for wellness and fitness Lyndon Littlefair (Corrective & Performance Exercise Specialist at www.londonwellness.co.uk) has sent us great advice on how Much Water we Should really Drink.

The thing that I find the funniest of all with water is that when I ask any of my clients “How much water do you drink each day?” the response is always the same:

“Oh I know I should drink more!”

“Oh, not enough!”

When I ask them exactly how much that is, the response is:

“A couple of cups / glasses / mugs…does coffee count?”

The truth of the matter is that they were right the first time around. Most people just don’t drink enough good quality water. The second most important fact is that they have no real idea of how much they are drinking throughout the day.

When I tell people how much water they should be drinking each and every day, the general response is:

“Whaaaaatttt? There’s no way I could possibly drink that amount of water!!!”

The thing is that everyone thinks that they don’t drink enough, or should drink more, but they don’t know how much or really why.

Let’s start with the why…

We all know that the body is made up of a lot of water. How much exactly? On average 60% of the body is made from water. We can even break that down even further:

– Muscles are 75% water

– Blood is 82% water

– Lungs are 90% water

– Brain is 76% water

– Bones are 25% water

Just be looking at this, you can probably realise that if the body is lacking water in any way, the basic functions that the body performs are going to be affected.

So what does water do for the body? Well let’s see:

– It regulates body temperature

– It helps to lubricate your joints

– It moistens tissues such as those in the mouth, eyes and nose

– It helps to protect body organs and tissues

– It help to prevent constipation

– It helps to flush out toxins and waste products

– It carries nutrients and oxygen to your cells.

We can see that water is pretty important for the body. It does a lot more than most people think.

So it’s pretty scary that most people are not getting enough water into their bodies over the course of a day. But, what could really happen if you don’t drink enough? I mean, how bad could it possibly be?

Let’s have a look shall we. Some of the effects of mild dehydration include:

– Fatigue

– Decreased coordination

– Dry Skin

– Decreased urine output

– Dry mucous membranes in the mouth and nose

– Blood pressure changes

– Impaired judgement

And that is just mild dehydration!

Did you know that by the time you feel thirsty, you are already 2-3% dehydrated? Now that doesn’t sound like a lot does it. Except that when you are 2-3% dehydrated your physical and mental performance can decrease by as much as 10%!

OK, we have established that water is pretty important then. So exactly how much water should we drink?

A simple formula to follow is:

Bodyweight in kilograms x 0.033 = Litres of Water per day

E.G. 78kg person x 0.033 = 2.57 litres of water each day

You will actually need to drink more than this when you are exercising or are in a hot environment, or both.

But what sort of water is best for you?

Pure Natural Water!

Avoid soft drinks / sodas etc. The high sugar content and artificial flavours are harmful for your health.

Tea, coffee and soft drinks also contain caffeine. Caffeine actually acts as a diuretic and will actually dehydrate you rather than adding to your water intake. Every now and again is ok, but if you rely on these as most of your water intake, you may be seriously affecting your long term health.

That sounds a lot of water to drink in one week, let alone one day. How do you possibly do it? Here are some helpful tips…

– Drink a large glass of water first thing in the morning.

– Drink small sips often…these all add up.

– Have a water bottle next to your compute at all times.

– Keep a track of how much you drink each day.

– Drink before you feel thirsty…remember by the time you feel thirsty, you are already 2-3% dehydrated.

– Monitor your urine…a hydrated body produces clear, colourless urine.

So I think the moral of the story is to drink well and be well!

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