How much water should we drink each day?
There are numerous different answers to this question, depending on our activity levels, the weather, our weight and many other things. As a rough guide though, use the below formula to calculate how much water you need to drink in a day:
Your weight in kg x 0.33 = amount of water to drink each day
For example: if you weigh 70kg, multiply that by 0.033 to find that your optimum daily intake of water is 2.31 litres.
This is a rough guide though; in warm weather or if we are very active or sweating a lot for another reason, we should drink more.
Why is it important to drink enough water?
We all know we need to drink more water – but why is that?
Here are 7 reasons to drink more water:
1 Drinking water can help your brain to function.
Your brain is around 73% water and when you’re dehydrated, that can affect your brain. The effects will be subtle, and if you’re feeling a bit foggy you might reach for a coffee or sugary drink instead of water – but water can make a bigger difference.
Being well hydrated can help you to focus and to stay alert, also improving energy. Next time you’re feeling that afternoon slump, reach for a glass of water instead of a coffee, and see if you notice a difference.
2 Drinking water can help your body to detox.
These days we take in so much junk, but the good news is that the body knows how to detoxify itself using the liver, kidneys and lungs. When we drink enough water it can help to flush out toxins that are floating around the body. This is especially true first thing in the morning, when you’ve not had a drink for eight hours. Drinking around 500ml to a litre of water as soon as you wake up can help to flush out the toxins that have been building up in your body overnight as your body worked on repairing cells and suchlike.
3 Drinking enough water can improve your skin.
Whether you suffer with dry skin or not, drinking enough water can really benefit your skin. The skin is an organ, and water is important for the proper function of all organs in the body. Persistent dehydration can cause your skin to become dry and flaky. When you’re dehydrated your body isn’t able to flush away toxins so you can end up with spots too. Being well hydrated can even help with the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as being well hydrated can help to plump out the skin and make wrinkles less visible.
4 Drinking water helps your digestion.
Drinking enough water helps your body to digest your food well, and also to keep stool moving through your body so that you don’t end up with constipation. Whether you struggle with constipation or not, making sure you are properly hydrated can help to ensure you digest your food well.
5 Drinking water helps to prevent headaches.
Having a headache is probably the most obvious sign of dehydration, but how often do we reach for a paracetamol rather than a glass of water? Your body needs fluid to function properly. When you are dehydrated your brain can actually shrink from fluid loss – and it’s this shrinking that causes a headache.
6 Drinking water can prevent bad breath.
There are many different causes of bad breath, but one that’s not often considered is dehydration. Your mouth uses saliva to rinse away bacteria from your mouth, so if you’re dehydrated it can’t do that well.
7 Drinking water can help you to lose weight
We’ve all seen that hilarious meme about how if you’re hungry you might just be thirsty and you should just drink some Prosecco and see how you feel. The thing is, it’s based on truth. A lot of the time when you think you’re hungry your body is actually thirsty. Whether you’re trying to lose weight or not, drinking a glass of water and leaving it half an hour before eating can help to make sure you are well hydrated and not over eating. And if you are trying to lose weight, drinking water before you eat can help you to feel more full so that you eat less.
How can you make sure you drink enough water each day?
So now that we’ve established that it’s highly beneficial to drink more water, how can we make sure we drink enough water each day?
Here are some tips to help you increase and maintain your water intake:
- Buy several reusable water bottles, and fill up enough to hit your target at the beginning of the day. This will help you to keep track of how much you’ve had to drink each day and having those bottles on your desk or kitchen counter will remind you of how much you need to drink.
- Download an app to remind you to drink water through the day. It’s important to remember that there’s little benefit in downing 2 litres of water right before you go to bed; it’s better to have a few sips every now and then through the day. There are lots of apps that can help you with this.
- Whenever you go out, bring a reusable bottle of water with you. This will help you to avoid buying single-use plastic bottles of water while you’re out too.
- Take a large bottle of water to bed with you, not to drink through the night but to drink as soon as you wake up in the morning. This will help to flush out the toxins that have accumulated through the night, and also give you a good head start on hitting that daily target.
- If you drink coffee or tea, get into the habit of drinking a glass of water while you’re waiting for the kettle to boil.
- Use an app to track your water intake. I use the Fitbit app, but there are plenty of other ones out there that deal only with tracking water intake.
- If you have a habit of drinking fizzy drinks in the day, make it a rule that you can’t open a can until you’ve finished 2 bottles of water.