How much water should you really drink?

Water makes up a significant portion of our total body weight.

Much of this water is held in the cells of the body and in the blood stream.

The kidneys use water as the medium to flush toxins out in the urine, water is lost through sweat and also through breathing.

The Food Standards Agency advises that water intake will vary according to the environmental temperature.

In cooler climates like the UK we should drink approximately 1.2 litres ( 6-8 glasses ) of fluid every day to stop getting dehydrated.

Other sources advise much higher intake such as 3 litres a day for men and 2.2 litres a day for women.

Just because we have taken in a glass of water which will lead to an increase of fluid in the blood, does not mean that the cells of the body will receive that water. This is dependent on the relationship of key minerals like potassium and sodium within and without of the cells. The addition of minerals to help with movement across the cell membrane. The macronutrients each help to liberate water during metabolism. Biochemistry teaches that the consumption of 10g of protein releases 4g of water, the consumption of 10g of carbohydrates releases 6g of water whilst the consumption of 10g fat releases 10g of water. This liberation of water occurs best when there is a sufficient amount of oxygen in the blood.

There is no single factor that provides a conclusive guideline for water intake.

The factors that will influence the needs for water are :

  • Environmental temperature

  • amount of lean muscle mass

  • mineral balance within the body

  • fat content of the diet

  • frequency, intensity and type of exercise

  • quality of the water