We all know that we’re supposed to drink a certain amount of water per day, yet there’s so much nutritional information in the media today that it’s not always easy to filter through it all. Not only that, many people don’t realise the importance of drinking water.
So, why do we need to drink water?
Our bodies are composed with a whopping 60% water. It is used to transport nutrients, regulate our temperature, as lubrication and is the environment in which every single chemical reaction in the body takes place. As little as 2% loss of water seriously comprises our mental and physical performance. Our energy levels slump, blood pressure lowers (causing less blood to the brain and reduced concentration), headaches set in and muscle function decreases. In fact, with insufficient water intake we put ourselves at risk of death. Did you know, although not healthy or recommended, we can live for over a month without food yet if we were to go without water for a week we would die!
OK, how much water should we really be drinking then?
2 litres per day if we haven’t exercised. That’s a minimum of 2 litres and must be increased if we take part in any physical activity. We lose 2-2.5l/day alone just through breathing, sweating and urination. 1-2l/hour is lost during exercise!
Sounds like a lot! How can I ensure that I hit 2l?
I recommend to carry 2l water bottle with you each day and sip it throughout the day. If you’re not used to drinking so much, you might find that you need to go to the toilet a little more that usual. This is normal and will settle down after a couple of weeks! Also, we do get some water from the food that we eat. This shouldn’t be confused as part of your 2l! That’s additional water that is vital for our bodies to function.
And if I’m exercising?
Take a sports bottle with you to drink throughout the session. Refill at the end to ensure maximum re-hydration. You can see my favourite ones right here!
Is any fluid classed as part of my 2 litres?
Definitely not. Diuretics such as alcohol and caffeine (found in tea, coffee and most soft drinks) actually dehydrate the body and shouldn’t be counted as part of the 2l. In fact, they should really be avoided.
It may not be easy to hit 2 litres a day, but it is important. People who don’t usually hit the recommended amount can notice huge differences in their concentration and performance just by upping their intake! If there’s one thing that you do today, make sure that it’s to drink your water! x