How to drink the optimum daily amount

 28 Jan 2016

Let’s take a look.

Too much of a good thing

Like anything, excessive consumption of water can be dangerous. 

Over hydration, where you consume a vast quantity of water in a very quick period of time, can cause water intoxication (or Hyponatremia, as it's more officially known), which can be potentially fatal.

Not enough of a good thing 

The bigger problem for a lot of us is quite the opposite: that we are actually dehydrated most of the time. Our bodies are around 75% water and we need to keep drinking this vital fluid to maintain our health.  

We need water to maintain kidney function, regular bowel movements, aid digestion and keep skin clear. Dehydration also makes you feel tired and dizzy and other unpleasant symptoms, so it's important to stay hydrated for general well being. So how much is the optimum amount to have each day?

The right amount 

One recommended daily intake is:

 Children 1- 3 years
 1 litre (or 4 cups)
 1 litre (or 4 cups)
 Children 4 – 8 years     
 1.2 litres (or 5 cups)
 1.2 litres (or 5 cups)     
 Tweens 9 -13
 1.4 litres (5 – 6 cups)      
 1.6 litres ( 6 cups)
 1.6 litres (6 cups)
 1.9 litres (7-8 cups)
 2.1 litres (8 cups)
 2.6 litres (10 cups)

Other factors play a part, too. Your size, your level of activity and your location can all make a difference. So if you're sweating it out, due to exercise or hot climate you'll need to pay closer attention to making sure you get the right amount.

The right way

Since nobody wants to stand over the sink guzzling two litres in one go, the best way to hit your recommended daily intake is to have drinking water always accessible. That way, you can have a glass every hour or so and seamlessly work it into your day.

Here's how:

  • Start your day with a glass of water. Think of it as an internal shower, kick starting your system for the day. Keep a glass in the bathroom and have that as you're getting ready.
  • Keep a reusable water bottle in the car, if you drive to work, or in your bag if you commute.
  • Have a glass of water on your desk.
  • When it's time for that cuppa, either have another glass while the kettle is boiling or better yet, switch the caffeine for a cup of the clear stuff.
  • Remember that sometimes 'hunger' can actually be 'thirst' so try drinking some water rather than snacking later in the afternoon (this can also help with weight loss!)
  • Take a glass of water to bed with you, so if you wake with a dry mouth in the night, you can quickly rehydrate.

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