How much water should we be drinking?

Water makes up about two-thirds of our body weight. Water is essential for the body to grow and maintain itself, as well as being involved in a number of bodily processes e.g. it helps get rid of waste and regulates temperature.

Water is lost from the body through urine and sweat. To stay healthy, you need to replace the fluids you lose by consuming them through your diet. If you don’t consume enough you can become dehydrated.

One of the first signs of dehydration is feeling thirsty. If you think you might not be getting enough fluids, check if you are showing any of these other common signs of dehydration:

  • headaches
  • confusion and irritability
  • lack of concentration and tiredness
  • dark coloured urine and not passing much when you go to the toilet

In climates such as Ireland, we should drink approximately 6 to 8 glasses of fluid every day to stop us getting dehydrated. In hotter climates the body needs more than this.

How to maintain fluid levels – 

  • Have a glass of water when you wake.
  • Regular drinks during the day – don’t forget that tea, coffee and juices can count.
  • Keep a bottle of water in your bag for convenience.
  • Get into the habit of having a glass of water with every meal.
  • The sensation of thirst is not triggered until you’re already dehydrated, so it’s important to drink before you get thirsty.
  • Increase your intake of fresh fruit and vegetables, as they too have a high water content.

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