We know how busy a hectic day can get – especially if you’re out and about! And you’re just more likely to cope better with a busy day if you’re hydrated. Each day, with everything we do, we are constantly expelling water from our bodies…and this water needs to be replaced in order for us to function at our best and stay fit and healthy. That means hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! It’s time to drink some water. But exactly how much water should you drink a day? Keep on reading for guidelines around this and learn why it’s so important to stay hydrated.

Why is it important to stay hydrated?

Drinking the right amount of water and staying hydrated has a direct effect on your health and how your body operates throughout the day (1). This means that drinking the right amount of water and staying hydrated is extremely important to give that busy body the support it needs. Remember - if you don’t stay hydrated throughout the day, you could begin to experience some of the following symptoms (and let’s face it, you don’t want that – you’re far too busy!):

  • Fatigue/tiredness – if you do not stay hydrated, the likelihood is that fatigue will begin to set in. You will start to feel tired and may suffer from poor concentration.
  • Headaches – Lack of hydration can cause the brain to shrink ever so slightly. This shrinkage can cause headaches.
  • Confusion – Dizziness or confusion is a common sign that you are dehydrated.
  • Dry skin – Your skin can dry out when you are not properly hydrated. If it stays dehydrated, this could cause further skin issues.
  • And more

 To learn more about the importance of staying hydrated take a read of our staying hydrated on the go article.

How much water should you drink a day?

Understanding how much water you need to drink in a day isn’t just down to a single one-size-fits-all number. Lots of different external factors can affect the amount of water that your body and mind need to be in tip-top condition. Below are just a few of the most common factors that can affect how much water you should drink a day:

  • The weather – The weather is one of the biggest factors that can affect how much water you need to stay hydrated. The hotter it is, the more you will sweat. The more you sweat, the more water your body will lose – and this lost water will need to be replaced.
  • Illness – If you are ill you may need to hydrate more often than usual. Many illnesses cause symptoms that can provoke the loss of water from your body, and make you feel the effects of dehydration, on top of all your other symptoms. Water loss when you’re ill can happen through sweating, fevers or diarrhoea.
  • Exercise Exercising is a great way to keep fit and healthy. However, exerting yourself physically usually means that you will sweat more, and this means that your body will lose water. Increased sweating means an increased need for hydration to replace the water lost – and it follows that you will need to drink more water.
  • Pregnant/breast feeding – If you are pregnant or breastfeeding you will need to drink more water than you usually do. If you are pregnant, good hydration helps to support the baby’s growth; and if you are breastfeeding, drinking more water helps to replace the water that your body loses in milk.

As a general rule the European Food Safety Authority (2) recommends that men should try to drink around 2.5 litres a day and women around 2 litres of water a day*. This overall total should be made up by both food and drink consumption. Around 20-30% of this water should come from food, and the rest from drinks.

It’s important to remember that all of this is just a guide as to how much you should drink a day, and not a hard rule. Other factors could cause your body to need more or less water than the recommended amount. The very best rule you can follow is to trust your body and drink whenever you feel thirsty.

How to check if you’re drinking enough?

So, how do you know if you’ve been drinking enough? It’s easy to lose track sometimes – we’ve all been there! If you’ve lost sight of what you have or haven’t drunk throughout the day and want to check if you are hydrated or not there are a number of signs (3) you can look out for:

  • Urine – your urine is a good indicator as to whether you are hydrated or not. Your urine should be clear or a pale-yellow colour if you are hydrated. A darker colour of urine indicates that you need to drink a bit more in order to make sure your body is hydrated enough. If your urine is orange or darker in colour, then you may be severely dehydrated; it’s worth making a visit to your doctor!
  • Bad breath – Unfortunately, bad breath is another sign that you might not be drinking enough. Bad breath can be caused by a lack of saliva, which could be down to dehydration.
  • Thirst – Are you thirsty? This one is an obvious one, but the easiest way to check if you are drinking enough water is to check if you are feeling thirsty! If you are, your body is telling you that you need to drink and you shouldn’t ignore its cues. Why not quench that thirst with a bottle of Buxton?
Knowing how much water to drink during a day can be tricky, especially in hot weather. Make sure you check out our hydration hub for more information and advice around drinking water and staying hydrated.

*Water contributes to the maintenance of normal physical and cognitive function and normal regulation of body temperature.

At least 2L of water, from all sources, should be consumed per day, as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle

1 - https://www.emedicinehealth.com/dehydration_in_adults/article_em.htm

2 - https://efsa.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.2903/j.efsa.2010.1459

3 - http://www.bodyrock.tv/how-to-know-if-youre-drinking-enough-water-and-some-signs-you-probably-arent/

 

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