Are you drinking enough water? And how much is enough?

By now we should certainly know just how important water is for our health. After all, we are reminded on a regular basis of the fact through television programs and magazine articles. But, the big question is actually how much water is enough? There is a good chance that even if you drink plenty of water it may still not be enough. That clear cool liquid has so many benefits for your health that it really is worth making sure you are drinking enough of it.

So how much do we need?

In the UK, the NHS recommend between 6 – 8 glasses of water per day as the appropriate amount of water. That’s about 1.2 litres. However, there are plenty of things that can make a difference to how much water you drink, and this amount of 6-8 glasses should be taken as a guideline for the average day. If you do a lot of exercise, then you should look at upping your water intake. You need to keep hydrated. The same logic applies on hotter days. You will lose more fluid from your body, so you will need to drink more to replace them. Finally, there are certain foods that you might eat, especially salty foods that can make you a little dehydrated. So, you will need to up your water intake to compensate for those as well.

How do you know if you are drinking enough?

There are a couple of indicators that you are not drinking enough water. First, and I make no apology for mentioning this; urine. If your wee is dark yellow in colour then you need to drink more water. Pale yellow urine is a good indication that you are properly hydrated. Being very dehydrated can in some cases lead to a Urinary Tract Infection. So, if your wee is dark you need to reach for that water.

If you have regular headaches it is worth looking at how much water you drink, maybe keep a note of how many glasses you drink for a couple of days. Headaches can be a sign of dehydration; by the time you get one you are already dehydrated. Of course, there can be other causes and those may need looking into, but if you keep a note of what you drink and try to get the recommended 6-8 glasses you may just find that your headaches stop.

How do you drink enough water?

Drinking enough water can be difficult there is no getting away from it, when you are busy you can forget to look after yourself properly.  A good way of monitoring your water intake can be to measure out the 6-8 recommended glasses, you could use a filter jug in your fridge or just a large bottle. Then all you need to do is make sure that you pour yourself a glass at regular intervals. Try to make it a part of your daily routine and you will soon find you are drinking enough water.

If you have any symptoms that concern you such as recurring headaches or dark urine, then you may want to consult your GP just to make sure that there is nothing untoward going on.