How much water do you really need to drink?

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How much water do you really need to drink?

Keeping well hydrated is the most powerful thing we can do to be at our best each day, yet with the time demands and pressures of modern life is it any wonder it is the one area of nutrition that often falls by the way side? It can also be hard to know exactly how much fluid we should be drinking. Do we all need the same amount of fluid? How much is too much? And what about if you exercise? Everything you need to know is right here…..

What is the minimum amount of fluid we need?

From a physiological perspective, an adult requires between 35-45 ml per kilo of body weight – if we take this at an average of 40ml / kg, all you need to do is multiply your weight by 40ml to get a rough idea of your baseline requirements. So if you weigh 60kg, you need a total of 2400ml or 2.4L of fluid each day. Now this may seem like an awful lot, but it does also include what we get from our food which equates to at least 500ml of this, hence the recommendation for roughly 2L a day of fluid for a small female and about 3L for an average male. 

Does it always have to be water?

Water, still or sparkling is always the best choice of fluid but you can also include tea in this. Unfortunately you cannot include coffee as it is often smaller volumes of fluid in total. If you have particularly high fluid requirements you may also find sugar free waters or electrolyte mixes also help you to drink more fluid in total. 

What about if I exercise?

Naturally if you are losing fluid when you exercise you need to drink extra to compensate for the losses. This means if you go for a light walk you are not likely to need a lot more than your baseline 2L but if you are sweating it up in a cycle class you will need an extra 500-1000ml for every hour of hard physical training you are doing. For a more exact figure the best thing to do is weigh yourself before and after an exercise session to work out exactly how much fluid you are losing. You will need to drink an extra 1.5x the amount of weight on the scales you lose. So if you lose 1kg of weight after a training session you will need to drink an extra 1.5L of fluid to re-hydrate properly. 

Can I drink too much water?

Absolutely. While keeping well hydrated is the goal, over-hydrating can be dangerous. While it is hard to do, it can happen, especially for small females drinking upwards of 4-5L each day. The average person will be drinking more than enough if they are managing 2-3L/day unless they are a large male undertaking large volumes of training and as such may be needing 3-4L of total fluid each day. 

How do I manage drinking this much?

For some these fluid targets may seem enormous, and the key to hydration success is to get into good drinking habits. Set a goal of drinking one bottle or a couple of glasses of water throughout the morning, afternoon and evening and add an extra bottle if you train hard regularly. Then you will find you hit your targets easily every single day. 

Susie is currently a brand ambassador for Zip. Read more about her partnership with Zip here OR read how a Zip HydroTap® changed Susie’s life, here.