Our bodies can live without food for over a month (although I wouldn’t recommend it!), but if we tried to even last a week without water we’d most certainly die. I say that makes water pretty damn important!
Our bodies are made up of 60% water and it plays a vital role in transporting nutrients, keeping our temperature regulated and it’s the environment in which every chemical reaction happens.
So how much should we be drinking?
To keep our water levels at this percentage we need to be drinking around 2 litres of the wet stuff a day. This does however depend a bit on your weight and how much exercise/ sweating you’re doing, so is very individual. What's more important is the frequency.
Tea and coffees made with water do count as your quota although i’d recommend not having your whole 2 litres as this, if those drinks contain caffeine, which is a diuretic!
What happens if we don't drink enough?
A loss of just 2% of your body weight as water will compromise your mental and physical function. On average we lose 2-2.5litres a day and a 2% loss isn’t a huge amount. We should be sipping water at regular intervals, so don’t use thirst as an indicator - if you’re feeling thirsty that means you’re already dehydrated!
I’m sure you’ve heard it before but your wee is a great indicator of whether you need to get hydrated - clear, v. pale yellow/straw are all ok, yellow indicated mild dehydration and dark yellow means you need a lot of fluid to re-hydrate (you probably see this after a night out on the tiles!).
If frequency is important, when should we drink?
Overnight we lose about 1-1.5 ltrs, and are therefore dehydrated when we wake. So, grab a drink first thing to refresh the brain. And, why not have one just before bed do you don't wake dehydrated in the night.
Another good time is about 20 mins before a meal. During a meal our body is using water from your brain to process/ chew food, so it's important to have the water there already to help with this.
Feel a bit peckish but it's not really a meal time? Try having some water as often your brain is telling you it's hungry when in actual fact it's thirsty!
So, drink your 2 litres and drink it regularly throughout the day. If it’s too boring on it’s own, make it more exciting by adding some lemon or infuse with some berries or fruit of your choice.
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