How much water should we be drinking every day to keep us healthy?

Spring is finally here and that means the warm weather is on it’s way! Before we hit summer let’s get this water myth straight so we can make sure we’re hydrated for beach season.

Have you been getting tired? Headaches during the day? Unable to concentrate? Your body could be telling you it’s dehydrated!

Water is essential for human life, it plays a vital role is almost all of our bodily processes and functions.1 It’s classed as an essential nutrient as our bodies just don’t produce enough of it on it’s own. So why is it that most of us just aren’t drinking enough when it’s so important?

You mightn’t realise, but water doesn’t just come from the tap or a Mount Franklin bottle, it’s also a component in milk, tea, coffee and many foods we eat (especially fruits and vegetables). Per day, the food we consume alone contributes to about 700-800mL of our water intake. A further 250mL is created by our body from our own metabolism.

Everyone’s requirement for water is different and can be highly variable as it’s dependent on your activity level, climate, metabolism and lean body mass.

Our bodies use approximately 2-3L per day to function normally, So how much water does our body need? From the water provided from the food we eat and what the body itself produces, it’s evident we still need to drink more for our body to function properly.

The table below gives a guideline for the Adequate Intake (AI) of water per day for men and women in specific age groups.

 Retrieved from: https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/water

 

Note: Adults living and working in very hot climates, athletes and people who are very active require a higher intake of water.

To learn more about the recommended water intake for children, pregnancy and lactation follow this link.

2.1-2.6L per day may sound like a lot, however 8-10 cups can be used as a more manageable measurement. So ladies and gents, start drinking that water your body so desperately needs, it only takes 8-10 cups per day and you’re already improving your lifestyle.

Tip: Personally I like to carry a 1L water bottle around with me to make the math easier and I start my day with a glass of water to make up the difference. Adding in fresh fruit for some flavour is also a great trick to increase your consumption.

If you have your own trick of how to make sure you drink enough water each day please comment below and share your clever water tips.

Fun fact: Water makes up 50-80% of our body weight and this decreases with age. That’s quite a bit!

 

References:

  1. National Health and Medical Research Council. (2013). Eat for Health Educators Guide. Retrieved from: https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/sites/default/files/files/the_guidelines/n55b_educator_guide_140321.pdf
  2. Nutrient reference values for Australia and New Zealand. [Canberra, A.C.T.]: National Health and Medical Research Council; 2006.