Whilst there is debate about exactly how much water we should drink per day, there is no debate at all that it is necessary to our health and well being to stay hydrated.
So how much should we be drinking? The NHS Choices website actually shies away from stipulating an exact amount with the following:
Studies have tried to establish a recommended daily fluid intake, but it can vary depending on the individual and factors such as age, climate and physical activity. A good rule is to drink enough fluid so that you’re not thirsty for long periods, and to steadily increase your fluid intake when exercising and during hot weather. Passing clear urine (wee) is a good sign that you’re well hydrated.
There is a media campaign currently underway spearheaded by celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver, as part of the Childhood Obesity Strategy to encourage us all to swop the sugary drinks for straight water. Time will tell if this message is embraced by the British public.
Finally, the following information is lifted from a blog on Patient.info which you may find of interest:
Scarily, this week, a poll, of 2,000 adults, found 16% believe they can count an alcoholic drink as one of their recommended eight glasses of water! More than one in five also admitted they have no idea how much water they should be drinking. Water is often considered the elixir of life – after all, you are what you drink. Current guidelines suggest we should all down at least eight cups (or two litres of water) per day for optimal health benefits. Interestingly, only 42% in this recent survey were aware that around two litres – or eight glasses – is the recommended amount. This poll also found that one in five Brits can often go eight hours or more between having a drink of water, with more than one in five disliking the taste of water!
Our body is nearly two-thirds water so it is really important we consume enough fluid to stay hydrated and healthy. The amount we need is also weather-dependant, of course, and the degree to which we exercise can have an influence, too. But, without enough H2O, we can feel lethargic, may suffer headaches and will definitely struggle to perform at our very best – cognitively and physically. This essential healthy ‘fluid’ includes not only water from the tap or the bottle, but may also come from other drinks such as tea, coffee, milk, fruit juices and soft drinks. We also get water from the food we eat. Did you know, on average, food provides about 20% of your total fluid intake and accounts for about 60% of our body weight? However, do be aware, the best way to top up on water is always by drinking water! It delivers what’s needed without the added calories and without potentially damaging teeth.