When it comes to hydration, there are a lot of sources online telling us how much water we should be drinking. However, it seems every source is a little different. Should we be drinking 8 pints a day, as the NHS says? Or should we tailor our water intake depending on our bodies? Below are some tips on how much water you should be drinking, how water affects our bodies and how to know when you’ve drunk too much water.
How much water is enough?
To answer the question of how much water we should drink a day, we need to explore why water is so important for the human body. An adult human body is made up of 60% water, with newborn babies being made up of about 78% water .
Every organ in our body is made up of different percentages of water, and if these organs are not being well hydrated, you may start to experience the side effects. Dehydration can be extremely dangerous for the human body. In fact, we can only live for around 3 days without drinking water before dehydration becomes severe enough to kill us .
We need to drink roughly 2 litres of water every day to maintain healthy hydration levels according to a recent study . Health officials use an 8×8 rule, which means you should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day (just under 2 litres or half a gallon). You can up your water intake easily by using a few methods, which are outlined below.
How much water is too much?
Just as we can be dehydrated, we can be easily overhydrated. This can happen to our bodies for a number of reasons, including increased water intake and water retention. Although overhydration is more common among athletes and those with liver diseases, anyone can experience it.
To avoid this, ensure you aren’t overdrinking, and sticking to the general advice given by the NHS for water consumption.
How can we drink enough water?
- Buy a water bottle that has measurements on the side so you can keep track of how much water you’re drinking. You can fill your bottle up using a water cooler which is colder and fresher than tap water. Buying a refillable water bottle is also much better for the environment than regular plastic bottles.
- You can try to add some fruit slices to your water to make it taste nicer. Find inspiration for your fruit infusions on sites such as Pinterest.
- Drink a glass of water before every meal. Water can also make you feel fuller, great for when you’re trying to lower your food intake.
- Drink a glass of water during your nighttime routine, once you keep doing this it will become a habit and you’ll be well hydrated throughout the night.
- Set a timer to remind yourself to drink. Try setting an alarm or reminder to go off every hour or two and you’ll soon get into the habit of drinking often.
- Try to eat your water. A lot of fruits and vegetables have high water content.
- Make sure you drink enough water when you’re drinking alcohol. Try to follow the 1 to 1 rule – make sure you drink a glass of water for every glass of alcohol. This can also help to reduce the risk of a bad hangover the day after.