By Matt Stimpson | Published
Wherever we go, it’s not unusual for us to see, hear, or read information telling us we should be drinking plenty of water each day. So are we all drinking enough? Or are we drinking too much? It’s not like it’s a new health and wellness craze – it’s vital to life on earth as we know it as well as helping our bodies function properly. So how much water should we be drinking each day – and why?
There’s no definitive right answer on how much water we should drink each day, but we do have educated recommendations to use as a guideline. The NHS Eat Well Guide recommends “6-8 glasses of fluids a day” but how big is a glass and what are the other ‘fluids’?
There’s general agreement that those 6-8 glasses should equate to around 1.5 litres for women and around 2 litres for men each day. While the other ‘fluids’ can include tea, herbal tea, coffee, milk, soft drinks, or fruit juice. But a lot of these are diuretics (which make you pee more so they don’t stay in you long enough to do much good) and contain sugars.
However, water is sugar-free, calorie-free and contains the natural minerals and nutrients our bodies need to stay healthy. so it’s understandable we’re told to drink more if it. But everyone is different and a person’s water intake can depend on physical characteristics like height and weight, as well as age. But how much water is taken can also be influenced by how warm it is, how much activity or exercise is taken, or even diet.
Water certainly goes a long way to ensure our bodies stay healthy and functioning properly. From flushing out toxins and waste to regulating our body temperature and keeping our skin supple and our joints lubricated. But drinking water also helps to keep us functioning well mentally too.
While our bodies are around 60% water, our brains are made up of around 75% water, so keeping hydrated helps us to be more alert. If you’re not drinking enough water, there’s every chance of becoming dehydrated. Dropping water intake even a little can make you feel tired, unable to concentrate or lacking in motivation. Just feeling thirsty is a sign that dehydration has begun.
But you should be aware of going too far the other way and drinking too much. It might be tempting, given all the health benefits, to drink more than the recommended amount to keep you totally hydrated. But doing this can be unhealthy in the extreme, putting pressure on your kidneys and potentially causing water intoxication which can lead to brain damage or worse.
There’s plenty of good, positive reasons to stick to drinking those recommended 6-8 glasses a day of good old sugar-free, calorie-free water. So make it as easy as possible for yourself, whether you’re at home or at work, with a cost-effective bottled water cooler or mains fed water cooler to boost your water intake.