How much water should you drink daily?
We are often asked just how much water you should drink each day. There are varying answers and here we explode the myths on how much water we should drink and what beverages and food best contribute to our daily water intake.
Health experts say that women should drink around 2 litres and men 2.5 litres fluids daily. Another way to visualise this is known as the ‘8 x 8’ rule recommending eight glasses a day, which are approximately eight ounces in capacity. When exercising or in warmer climes then more is probably required.
This quantity includes drinking water, drinks of all kinds and the moisture available from the food we eat. Did you know on average our food is thought to contribute up to 20% of our fluid intake, which is a big help in staying hydrated?
Each individual's needs are unique and depend on health, age, size and weight as well as activity levels, the type of job you do and the climate you live in. Drinking little and often is the best way to stay hydrated.
Drinking water is known to improve mood, concentration and both mental and physical performance. Two thirds of our body is water, it's obvious how important it is to stay well hydrated. Hydration is needed for digestion, for our heart and circulation, for temperature control and for our brain to work well
Drink more water
Maybe you just find drinking water pretty boring? Even with the very best of intentions, and a reusable bottle sat on the corner of your desk; most of us know that we’re not actually drinking enough water. And the statistics confirm that over 80% of us are not drinking enough water to maintain healthy hydration levels. A staggering number of us admit to drinking no water at all during the day.
So what are the consequences? Common symptoms of dehydration include thirst (yes, if you’re thirsty you’re already too dehydrated), dizziness, headaches and fatigue. Research suggests that even mild dehydration can have a significant impact on mood, energy levels and brain function. That mid-afternoon slump could well be because you haven’t had enough water. Not having enough fluids can also lead to digestive problems such as bloating and constipation.
So should you be drinking more water? Yes, probably! But if you struggle to glug down the clear stuff, here are a few ways of making it a bit more exciting!
Jazz up your daily water intake
Infuse your filtered water with fresh fruit and fresh herbs, to give it a delicious, natural flavour. The possible combinations are endless, but some of our favourites include lemon + fresh ginger, strawberry, lemon & basil, and watermelon + mint.
Many reusable water bottles have a removable fruit infuser. Simply put your chosen fruit and fresh herbs into the capsule in the bottle, and let it infuse away!
A hint of flavour. Many people say that the only way they can drink water is in the form of squash. The problem with squash is that it’s either packed with sugar or artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, in the sugar-free versions. Try water flavour enhancers that are free of both sugar and artificial sweeteners, and instead contain stevia - a natural plant-derived sweetener.
Have a cuppa. Herbal and fruit teas are a particularly good alternative to drinking water when it’s cold outside! Teapigs and Tetleys and other leading tea brands all offer super power teas to help refresh, boost and detox you.
Consider the environment and choose a brand where the teabags are plastic-free, such as Teapigs, PG Tips, Pukka, Duchy Organics or go loose-leaf to be just as sustainable.
Instant hot water KettleTaps deliver filtered water that makes the perfect brew. You can see the difference in the clear liquids and taste it. Filtered water is generally the best option for brewing tea and making a best-tasting drink. Visit the UK Tea & Infusions Association useful tea-based website that shows how to make the perfect brew.
Which fluids count?
Water, milk, sugar-free drinks and tea and coffee all count to your daily intake, but remember that caffeinated drinks like tea and coffee can make the body produce urine more quickly. Fruit juice and smoothies also count, but because they contain ‘free’ sugars (the type we are encouraged to cut back on), you should limit these to a combined total of 150ml per day.
Eat your water
Many of the foods we eat contribute to our fluid intake, for example, dishes like soup, ice cream and jelly, as well as fruit and veg with high water content, such as melon, courgette or cucumber.
There are lots of fresh fruit and vegetables with high water content, and incorporating these ‘juicy’ foods into our diets can help ensure that we stay well hydrated! Quench your thirst with the following fruit and vegetables to help eat your water, and get the added boost of vitamins and phytonutrients at the same time.
- Cucumbers are composed almost entirely of water and form the perfect base for juices and smoothies. Chopped cucumber snacks are also a fantastic on-the-go snack, delicious dipped in hummus! Cucumber is a fantastic source of silica, which helps to strengthen nails and hair, and keep them shiny! It is also rich in other skin-friendly nutrients including vitamin C, beta-carotene and magnesium.
- Watermelons as the name suggests, are high in water, around 92%. Deliciously refreshing, watermelon combines perfectly with feta and mint in a salad.
Ripe tomatoes consist of around 94% water, hence why a Bloody Mary makes such a good morning-after drink!
- Iceberg lettuce is often shunned in favour of the more nutrient-rich (and trendy) greens such as kale, spinach and watercress, but when it comes to water content iceberg lettuce comes top of the leaves! Boost your water content by incorporating some of this crunchy lettuce into your lunchbox salads.
- Make soup using a good quality stock packed with veggies. It’s a great way of upping your water intake! Just be careful of shop-bought soups as some of them can have a high salt content (always check; high is more than 1.5g salt (0.6g sodium) per 100g). Wherever you can, make your own, it’s also a good way to use up excess vegetables before they go off.
Instant hot & cold water taps
It’s not just cold water that can help quench your thirst! If your office or workplace invests in a multi-function instant hot water KettleTap, you can get water as you want it. Boiling water instantly at the touch of the button and chilled and filtered. Instant hot taps will help speed up the tea round and improve overall productivity and wellbeing in the workplace.
Refill not landfill
7.7 billion single-use plastic drinks bottles are bought in the UK every year and contribute to the plastic pollution issue that our planet faces. A staggering 57% are not recycled and end up in landfill, the environment, our wildlife and the beaches and oceans. So help turn off the plastic tap and refill a reusable bottle, such as Chilly’s and SHO, that keep hot drinks hot for 12 hours and cold water chilled for 24!
We hope this helps you drink more water, daily.