How much water should I drink each day?

The human body is approximately 60% water and the health benefits of staying hydrated are well-documented: 

  • Improved energy and brain function
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Better skin and hair
  • Relief from headaches and even constipation.

Let’s face it, we all know water is good for us and we all know we should be drinking it… 

However, studies have suggested that many people are actually chronically dehydrated. It turns out that we might know what we should be doing but many of us just aren’t doing it.

How do I know if I’m dehydrated?

If you are already thirsty, then chances are you’re already dehydrated. Another method for checking hydration status is the colour of your urine. A darker colour suggests dehydration.

Urine colour chart indicating that clear or pale yellow urine means a good level of hydration, and very dark yellow urine suggests severe dehydration.

How much water should I be drinking?

The NHS Eat Well guide suggests that you drink six to eight cups of fluid per day which is good general advice but isn’t tailored for the individual. 

Should someone that is 6ft 6” and 120kg be drinking the same amount as someone who is 5ft 6” and 60kg? 

Absolutely not. 

Instead, aim to drink 1L of water for every 25kg of body weight

To keep track of how much you’re drinking, work out the volume of your water bottle and therefore how many times you need to fill it up in the day to reach your target. Then only fill it up once it is empty. This way you can be really clear on how much you’ve had.

It is best to sip on water throughout the day rather than take on board loads of water in one go. 

Remembering to drink enough water

Putting some simple strategies in place will make it easier to get enough water on a busy day. 

  • Having a water bottle on your desk that you carry to meetings will ensure you always have water on hand during the day.
  • Setting yourself a mini goal can also keep your mind focused. If your daily target is 2L, for example, aim to have had 1L by lunch time. 

How do I stay hydrated if I hate water?

It’s ideal to try and get at least 50% of your hydration through water but you can drink other things too. All beverages that contain water will help to hydrate you. In fact, drinks that contain calories, in particular carbohydrates, will also help you retain water. Just be mindful of the calories if weight loss/fat loss is your goal. 

Additionally, water-dense foods such as broccoli, grapefruit, lettuce and watermelon are over 90% water and so a diet rich in fruit and vegetables can contribute up to 20% of your daily target. 

Just being a little more mindful around your hydration will go a long way at improving a whole list of health markers. You’ll also get healthier looking skin and hair too. 

Cheers! (*sipping mineral water*)