If you, like most people, have asked yourself, your parents, your friends or a health professional how many glasses of water you need to drink per day, you are in the right place.
We hear so many different numbers for the amount of water and liquids we need to drink. Sometimes it’s 6-8 glasses/day, sometimes coffee isn’t considered a liquid and sometimes it’s just plain wrong.
Why is staying hydrated so important anyway?
Our bodies are mostly made up of water, up to about 60%. Every system in our bodies depends on it: skin, hair, nails, heart, brain, kidneys, etc. It helps to regulate body temperature and blood pressure, prevents kidney stones and constipation and can delay afternoon fatigue. Drinking water can also help you lose weight! Without enough of it, you become tired, sluggish, weak and dizzy, get headaches and may even faint. So do you see now why it is so important?
How much water do I need?
If you’re looking for a precise number, you won’t find it here. Unfortunately it depends on factors like age, sex, temperature, amount of sweating, physical activity, and so on. HOWEVER, we have a great system put in place in our bodies to guide us. That system is called pee! Yes, our urine may be the best indicator to show us if we are drinking enough. A pale yellow colour is what you are looking as a dark yellow colour is already a sign that your need to drink some more. If it gets darker, drink some water!
Check out this infographic to see what the colour of your urine is telling you:
Does coffee count as liquid?
Yes. So do fruits, vegetables, soups, milk, juice, and soft drinks. Unfortunately, alcohol is a huge dehydrator. So make sure to alternate between alcohol and water if out drinking.
But I’m so busy, I keep forgetting to drink!
I get that excuse all the time, but I also have tips to make drinking a habit.
- Keep a water bottle handy at all times. Find one that keeps liquids cold or hot all day long.
- Find liquids you enjoy. If we don’t like plain water, infuse it with fruits, herbs or citrus. Or eat more fruits and veggies. Or drink tea. Or coffee. Or milk. Or (get my point?). Get some neat ideas here (in French only)
- Drink a glass of water with every meal and snack.
- If necessary, program an alarm or reminder on your phone to drink a few sips every hour.
I hope you understand why staying hydrated is so important now and see how easy it can be to increase our fluid intake!