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How much water should you be drinking?

Health

How much water should you be drinking?

Everyone knows drinking water is a good thing, but how much water should we REALLY be drinking. The standard answer is always eight glasses of water a day. But now news reports are suggesting that there can be a thing as too much water. So let’s see what the experts have to say on the subject.

Between eight to ten glasses a day

The European Food Safety Authority says that men should drink about 2.0 litres of fluid per day and women should drink about 1.6 litres of fluid a day. That works roughly out to eight glasses of 200mls each for woman and 10 glasses of 200mls each for men. But these guidelines are very broad. Another excellent guide is to drink 30mls of water per kg of body weight. So if you’re 90kgs that equates to 2,7 litres of water. The Mayo Clinic’s rule of thumb is “if you drink enough fluid so that you rarely feel thirsty and produce 1.5 litres (6.3) cups or more of colourless, or light yellow urine, your water intake is sufficient.

More exercise means more water

Your size, the out-door temperature and how much exercise you’re doing all play a part in how much water you need to drink. Lots of exercise on a hot day means you should look at upping your glasses over the eight/ten count. You get 20% of water every day through food (providing you’re not on diet) so as rule of thumb, aim to drink at least 2 litres of water a day.

Is all water equal?

A lot of people say they get far more water than they need because they drink large amounts of tea and coffee. But these are both diuretics and they lead to water loss, which in turn leads to an increase in the amount of water your body needs. This is the reason why in Italy you’re always served a glass of water with your espresso. There’s no doubt about it, water on its own is much healthier than any other drink and because it contains no calories or sugar and doesn’t damage your waistline or your teeth.

Is everyone else drinking as much as you do?

Recent studies show that less than one per cent of people drink their standard eight glasses of water a day which is alarming when you consider the average human body is 75% water. Studies in America have shown that Americans drink about 7,242 ounces of water annually, which is only about 2.5 cups a day of water! This is of course, way below what is recommended. In a study done by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, forty-three percent of adults drink less than four cups of water a day. This includes 36 percent who drink one to three cups and an amazing seven percent who drink none!

Water drinking by demographics

Water intake varies by demographics. People 55 or older, who are non-Caucasian are more than likely to drink four cups or less. It also varies by health habits. People who drink less tend to be the same people who consume a cup or less of fruits and vegetables a day, exercise less than 150 minutes a week, smoke or used to smoke and eat fast food more than once a week. They also tend to eat fewer than five family dinners a week and do not shop at farmers markets.

Is being thirsty a good indicator?

By the time you feel thirsty, you’re often beginning to show the early signs of dehydration, which can be very detrimental as it leads to brain and body fatigue – something we can all do without during our busy days. It’s important to note that as you get older, you lose your ability to know when you’re thirsty. So the more senior members of society must remind themselves to drink water, and it often helps if you keep a water diary.

Reach for a glass of purified water

Remember in South Africa, although there are standards in place for the maximum amounts of contaminants allowed in tap water, none of these are at zero. So to get the best quality and taste out of your water, look at H2O’s range of filtration systems and portable personal water bottles. They’ll keep you hydrated with a constant supply of purified water 24/7. Remember, it’s what’s inside that counts.