60% of our bodies are made of water, whilst a further 90% of our blood is composed of good old H2O. Therefore, ensuring you drink enough water is essential to maintaining your healthy lifestyle.
In this article, we explain how much water you should drink each day along with the health benefits of doing so. We’ll also give you our best tips for motivating yourself to drink more water and recognising the best type of fluids for you.
How many litres of water should you drink a day?
One common rule for how many litres of water you should drink a day is the “8x8” rule. The unofficial advice recommends that you consume eight 8oz or 240 ml glasses of water each day. This works out as just under 2 litres of water per day.
In the UK, the NHS Eat Well Guide recommends having a goal of consuming 6-8 glasses of water and other liquids to replace water loss. This can include water, low-fat milk, tea, coffee, and sugar-free drinks. Bearing in mind that 20% of our fluid intake is contributed by food consumption, we should aim to drink between 1.6 litres to 2 litres of fluids.
Other theories suggest that sipping on water constantly throughout the day is the best way to stay hydrated – even if you are not thirsty!
In reality, the amount of water needed is largely down to the individual. Your needs will depend on your age, size, and weight, in addition to a wide number of factors that affect how many litres of water you should consume. These factors include:
- Your diet
- Activity levels
- Your health
- Where you live
- The weather
For example, someone that lives in a hot, humid environment and exercises frequently is likely to need more water than someone that rarely exercises and lives in a mild environment.
Benefits of drinking water
There are numerous benefits of drinking water every day in terms of your general health. Not only does water deliver oxygen throughout the body, but it also helps to regulate your body temperature and cushions vital organs such as the brain, spinal cord, and other sensitive tissues.
Drinking water is also an integral addition to your digestive health. Not drinking water can lead to constipation and too much acid, increasing the risk of heartburn and stomach acid. Water is also needed for flushing body waste and making essential nutrients, Vitamins, Minerals & nutrients accessible.
In terms of sports, water is known to enhance performance during laborious exercise. Water is required in aiding airways, maintaining blood pressure, and lubricating joints – all of which play a vital role in performing strenuous activities. If you are not adequately hydrated for a workout, you may experience tiredness, muscle cramps, and dizziness as a result.
For those looking to trim their physique, drinking water for weight loss is ideal. Without water, the body cannot properly use stored fat and carbohydrates, therefore, drinking more water can boost your metabolism and help with burning fat. Water also acts as a natural appetite suppressant, as it can help you feel fuller for longer. It is a great alternative to fizzy and juicy drinks meaning that you will consume fewer calories and less sugar, in turn helping you to lose weight.
How to stay hydrated
There are plenty of ways to remind yourself to drink more water. Setting regular timers throughout the day to have a glass of water is a great method. Taking the time to drink some water can give you a much-need break and moment of self-care throughout a busy workday or exercise routine.
Another good way to subconsciously trick yourself into drinking more water is to purchase a new shaker or water bottle. This way, you will be excited to use your new accessory and will be much more likely to reach for it throughout the day. Bottles with timed markings are particularly great, as they allow you to challenge yourself and keep up with your intake without the need for an alarm.
Be aware of the appropriate circumstances to drink alternative types of water. Energy and sports drinks are great for intense workouts, replenishing energy stores and nutrients lost through sweating. Electrolyte waters are also fantastic for recovery, as they help to speed up hydration and rebuild damaged tissue.
Drinking water is an important element of maintaining a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. Make sure you stay on top of your fluid intake to truly make the most of your workouts and meet your goals.