Stay hydrated – that‘s something we often hear as a warning. Sometimes as a comment from others, but usually it‘s our inner voice speaking. Drinking water is essential for life, we are telling you why and how much you need.
Along with oxygen, water is the basis for life. 50 to 70 per cent of the human body is made up of water.
Your hydration needs: Why is drinking water so important?
Drinking enough water helps our body easily perform bodily functions. Vitamins, carbohydrates and protein are properly dissolved, enzymatic reactions happen smoothly, existential nutrients penetrate cells and toxins stay out. We boost our immune system, our skin glows and we feel good overall. Even our body’s ability to regulate temperature, build muscle and burn fat is linked to water consumption.
So how much water should you drink a day? An adult loses an average of 1.5 to 2 litres of water per day through breathing, digesting food and sweating. Even during periods of inactivity, these 1.5 to 2 litres of water must be replenished. Athletes and residents of hot climates need to consume even more water to stay hydrated.
Adults, children, the elderly – age, weight and lifestyle all influence the right amount of water to drink, whether you’re ill or healthy.Your diet also plays a role. For instance, vegetarians and those who consume large quantities of fruit and vegetables cover a part of their hydration needs through the foods they eat.
How much should I drink a day?
A healthy adult needs around 35 ml of water each day per kilogram of body weight . At least according to the general guidelines from scientific organisations. A person weighing 50 kilograms requires 1.7 litres, 60 kilograms 2.1 litres, 70 kilograms 2.4 litres and 80 kilograms 2.8 litres. The rule of thumb: the more you weigh, the more water you need.
Think there’s no such thing as consuming too much water? Drinking too much water is just a bad as not drinking enough. The recommended daily amount reflects the quantity your kidneys and heart can handle.
How much water you should drink a day also depends on age as well as on diet, activity level and the climate. A rambunctious child who romps around outside all afternoon without pause needs to drink more than a bookworm who passes the time sitting on the bed with his or her head in a magical world. That said, the recommendations for a healthy child are around 1.1 litres per day – no matter how thirsty he or she is.
The elderly have a decreased sense of thirst and drink less overall. The consequences can range from cardiovascular problems to a weakened immune system. Ideally, they should drink 1.5 litres of water daily to protect from life-threatening dehydration.
- Start each day with a glass of water – it’s refreshing, replenishes depleted reserves after the night and detoxes the body.
- Drink the first litre in the morning.
- Keep a bottle on your desk or within arm’s reach at work.
- Use a large bottle to set your daily limit.
- Drink a glass of water with every meal.
- Take water with you on the go.
- In addition to drinking water, eat a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables.
- Kick water up a notch by adding berries, lemon or herbs.
- Drink a glass of water alongside coffee and soft drinks.
- Hydrate during physical activity.
What should we drink?
Water, water, water is the plain and simple answer. Ideally, cleaner, fresher water that’s free of additives. Soft drinks like lemonade, cola and juice contain sugar, flavour enhancers and aromas that the body must process before beginning its actual work. Moreover, the acidity or phosphate content found in sweet drinks increase our water needs.