Are You Drinking Enough Water?

The NHS recommends drinking at least two litres of water every day, but is that really achievable? Is it over-the-top? Here are some handy tips to see if you are drinking enough…

How much to drink in a day:

You should aim to drink 6-8 glasses of water a day, which equals 1.2 litres, but you can get some of this from your food. Tea and coffee do count towards this (although the caffeine in them is considered to be a diuretic which makes you urinate more), as does green tea which can also aid weight loss.

You can also up your water intake from vegetables. There’s no need to excessively drink water as you will urinate most of it out.

Why do we need to drink water?

Water has so many health benefits and it is essential for our bodies. It helps you digest food, lubricate your joints, regulate your temperature and get rid of toxins. Essentially, if you stop drinking water, everything in your body would stop, overheat and you would eventually die.

How to know if you’re drinking enough:

The simple way to test if you’re drinking enough water is to look at your urine. If it is a light straw colour, you’re drinking enough. Any darker, and you may be dehydrated. However, you shouldn’t look at the first urination of the day as it’s always darker due to being asleep.

There are also other symptoms of dehydration to look out for such as tiredness, headaches and an inability to concentrate.

If you drink when you’re thirsty, rather than to a schedule, you should be drinking enough. If you drink too much water, it can dilute the salt in your blood, but this is extremely rare.

Water-rich foods

Eating all of these foods will help you keep hydrated:

  • Cucumber
  • Iceberg lettuce
  • Celery
  • Tomatoes
  • Radishes
  • Cauliflower
  • Green peppers
  • Spinach
  • Watermelon
  • Broccoli
  • Strawberries
  • Baby carrots
  • Grapefruits
  • Cantaloupe

All of these foods are at least 90% water in their weight, making them handy to prevent dehydration.

Ways to remember to drink enough water:

  • Keep a refillable bottle of water with you at all times.
  • Install a water cooler in your home so you will always be able to access cool, filtered water.
  • Infuse your water with fruit if you don’t like the taste.
  • Drink a glass after every trip to the toilet.
  • Mark drinking targets on your bottle and set yourself timers.
  • Drink water before every meal – this will help you feel fuller too.
  • If you’re drinking alcohol, alternate every alcoholic drink with a glass of water. This will also stave off a hangover.
  • Incorporate water-rich foods into your everyday diet.
  • Keep a glass of water by your bed to drink as soon as you wake up.
  • Swap fizzy drinks for sparkling or soda water.