Do you know how much water you should be drinking each day?
Do you know the signs of dehydration?
How can you check if you’re drinking enough water?
Water makes up around 60% of our body weight and drinking water is vital for us all. Yet a new study reveals that 34% of people don’t drink water regularly at all. The research, commissioned by Robinsons last month, found that 46% of us dislike drinking water, and that 10% of don’t trust the purity of water.
Why is drinking water so important?
Hydration expert Dr Emma Derbyshire explains: “Keeping hydrated, especially during the warm, summer months is important for so many reasons.
“The research shows that half (50 per cent) of Brits suffer from headaches as a result of being dehydrated and many also feel sleepy (41 per cent) if they haven’t had enough fluid.” (As your brain are 73% water, poor hydration can have an adverse effect on how your brain functions.)
Dr Derbyshire adds: “As well as the short term impact, dehydration may also contribute to more long-term effects such as constipation, reduced kidney function and kidney stones, urinary tract infection and mental confusion – so it’s vital to ensure fluid intake is in line with recommended guidelines for men and women.”
How much water should each person drink?
The recommended daily intake of water for adults is 2.5 litres per person. This equates to about 4.5 pints of water each day.
Water is a healthy and cheap choice for quenching your thirst at any time. It has no calories and contains no sugars that can damage teeth.
If you do not like the taste of plain water, try sparkling water or add a slice of lemon or lime. You could also add some no-added-sugar squash or fruit juice for flavour.
Or – you could heat the water and infuse a tea bag, some coffee or a slice of lemon. (Plain tea, fruit tea and coffee (without added sugar) can also be healthy.) Although the caffeine found in tea and coffee can make you produce more urine, consuming moderate amounts does not appear to affect hydration.
What are the signs of dehydration?
Insufficient water intake can lead to dehydration and – especially in hotter climates, even our UK heatwaves – heat exhaustion. Signs of dehydration include:
- pain when urinating (UTIs)
- dry mouth, lips or eyes
- lack of concentration
How do you know if you’re drinking enough water?
A simple and effective way to know that you’re hydrating properly is by checking the colour of your urine. If it’s pale yellow (straw-coloured), you’re well hydrated. If it’s darker (like the colour of apple juice), you need to drink more.
Needs vary from one person to the next, but there are certain population groups who may need to pay particular attention to hydration:
- Children need plenty of fluid, despite their smaller body size, and they should be encouraged to drink regularly, especially if they are very active.
- Infants get their fluids from breast or formula milk, but will start to get some fluids from food when they move onto solids.
- Older adults may have a weaker sense of thirst and, if necessary, should be helped and encouraged to drink regularly.
- Active and sporty individuals need to consume water in order to replace the water they lose as sweat. The amount lost depends on activity duration and intensity, plus whether it’s hot and humid.
Do you have questions about hydration, diet or lifestyle?
As well as alleviating pain and optimising recovery time, the team at Shefford Osteopathic Clinic is here to offer you great advice for day-to-day lifestyle and fitness. How can we help you?