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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Ashby

Why You Should Drink More Water - and How To Do It!

Updated: May 6, 2023

Image: Pixabay

Question: Are you going for a run this week or working out?

If so, have you drank enough water?

Water helps you maximise physical performance. It also ensures you can get rid of waste from your body, is good for your skin, and has many other surprising benefits.

So how much should you drink? And what if you’re not that keen on the clear stuff from the tap? Read on to discover why you need fluids, what happens if you don’t drink enough, and how you can drink more water and enjoy it!

Another question for you: Approximately how much of an adult human is water?

Answer: 60% to 75%

  • In addition, your muscles are about 80% water.

  • Blood is about 90% water.

  • Your brain is about 85% water.

It’s not surprising then to hear that you need to drink enough fluids to keep everything in good working order.

How Much Water Should You Drink?

Men should be drinking around 3.7 litres or 13 cups of fluid per day, and for women, it’s about 2.2 litres or nine cups a day.

However, experts say this is an overly simplistic answer to the question “how much water should you drink?”

Many factors play a role in how much water you need, including age, sex, body size, and activity level. In addition, if you exercise, live in a hot climate, sweat a lot, breastfeed your baby, or have a fever, vomiting or diarrhoea, you should drink more.

It also depends on what you eat. You can get some fluids from food. For example, watermelon is 90%water.

In addition, the following foods contain a high percentage of water:

  • Fruit: Pears, peaches, oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, bananas, avocados and apples.

  • Vegetables: Spinach, celery, carrots, cabbage, and cooked broccoli.

  • Salad: Lettuce, celery, cucumber, tomatoes.

  • Other: Cottage cheese and yoghurt.

So, if you’re training and you want to up your fluids, get snacking on the foods listed above!

However, most of your needs are met by what you drink.

Feeling Thirsty?

How can you tell if you’re drinking enough? You’ll feel thirsty, of course. Your body is incredibly good at regulating itself and it will tell you when it needs more water. But, if you’re exercising or you want to stay in optimal health, you shouldn’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Try to drink throughout the day.

What Happens If You Don’t Drink Enough

There are signs to look out for that you’re really not getting enough fluids. Pale, clear urine is a good sign, but if your urine is dark yellow or orange, you need to drink more.

That’s because if you don’t drink enough water, you can become dehydrated. Dehydration happens if your body loses more fluids than you take in. Even mild dehydration can impair your memory, brain, mental and physical performance.

If you’re dehydrated, you might experience a change of mood, an inability to think clearly, a headache or migraine, or constipation. Dehydration can also lead to kidney stones, urinary and kidney problems, or low blood volume shock.

Fact: You could start to feel the effects of dehydration when you lose as little as 2% of your body’s water content. That’s quite alarming when you learn that athletes can lose as much as 6-10% of their water weight via sweat.

Even a loss of 1-3 % of body weight can:

  • Impair many aspects of brain function.

  • Affect mood and concentration

  • Impair energy levels

  • Have a negative impact on physical performance

  • Reduce muscle strength, power and endurance

  • Increase the frequency of headaches.

  • Be detrimental to working memory

  • Increase feelings of anxiety and fatigue

But why do we need so much water?

Why You Need Water

Every system in your body needs water to function. Water:

  • Helps your body maintain a normal temperature.

  • Lubricates and cushions your joints.

  • Keeps your heart pumping.

  • Protects your spinal cord and sensitive tissues.

  • Helps you get rid of waste through urination, perspiration, and bowel movements.

  • Forms saliva and mucus.

  • Can help prevent and relieve constipation.

In addition, water is important to:

  • Keep your skin healthy and hydrated.

  • Maximise physical performance.

  • Maintain blood pressure.

Drinking water can even help with weight control and weight loss. This is how.

Water and Weight Control

The body can mistake thirst for hunger. So, have a drink instead of reaching straight for a snack when you start to feel a craving for something. If you feel satisfied, you’ll eat less.

Tip: Drink a glass of water half an hour before a meal. You will feel more full-up and therefore want to eat less.

Water can even help you lose weight as it can slightly increase your metabolism. Finally, if you are trying to reduce your calorie intake to control your weight, drinking water instead of your usual drinks is a great place to start. You will already be consuming fewer calories than if you were drinking squash, fizzy pop, or your favourite hot drink.

Tips to Help You Drink More Water

  • Carry a water bottle with you all the time and refill it throughout the day.

  • Put a bottle of water in the freezer overnight so you have a nice cold drink the following day.

  • Add a wedge of lemon or lime to your water.

  • Add some no-added-sugar squash or fruit juice.

  • Add slices of fruit, or buy one of those fruit infuser water bottles.

  • Try sparkling water with raspberries and a spring of mint.

  • Consider a water filter. It could improve the taste of your tap water.

Is It Ok to Drink Other Fluids?

Yes, it’s fine to drink other fluids. It used to be said that coffee and tea were dehydrating, but this isn’t the case; coffee and tea won’t make you dehydrated. However, alcohol is a huge dehydrator.

Even so, water is the best fluid you can drink because it contains zero calories and no sugar. That means you’re doing your teeth a favour. And, it’s cheap!

Final Tip. Drinking a glass of water between alcoholic drinks and before going to bed can help prevent a hangover.

Ashby's Adventure Trails and Treks is passionate about health, fitness, and wellbeing. We're based in Coventry, but we'd love to hear from you wherever you are. Get in touch and see if we can help and support you on your own journey.


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