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How Much Water Should You Drink?

In the past few years studies have shown that many of us don't drink enough water for good health. Most health promoters have urged us all to drink more water to avoid dehydration, particularly whilst exercising.

Initial symptoms of over-hydration include dizziness, nausea, apathy and confusion. However these symptoms are also associated with dehydration - so it's important to be aware of how much you are drinking.

Drinking water at every opportunity can cause serious problems, such as hyponatraemia or water intoxication. As the water content of the blood increases, the salt content is diluted. Consequently the amount of salt available to body tissues decreases, which can lead to problems with brain, heart and muscle function.

The British Dietetic Association guidelines state that an average adult should consume 2.5 litres of water per day. This intake needs to be increased during periods of hot weather or during and after periods of physical activity.

To keep your body full of energy and performing at its best, good hydration is essential.

We all need around 2 litres of fluid a day to keep our bodies properly hydrated. Water is the medium in which most of body processes take place, and makes up about two thirds of body Weight. We lose it via breath, sweat and urine.

The recommended daily two litres of fluid can come from any drinks: tea, coffee, coke, fruit juice - even beer, though we don't recommend drinking two litres of beer each day! We also get approximately half a litre from food eaten each day, about a quarter of daily needs, mostly from fruit and vegetables. Alternatives to water tend to have more calories, so it makes sense to get at least some of our daily fluid needs from water. Also, some studies have indicated that drinking plenty of water is beneficial to the immune system; good for the skin; alleviates constipation and can reduce the risk of kidney stones.

Dehydration can make you feel tired and lethargic, and will decrease your capacity for exercise. Extra fluid is needed in hot weather and when you exercise. For each hour of exercise you should drink an extra litre of fluid. If you have an illness that is causing sickness, diarrhoea or sweating, you will need to up your fluid intake to make up for the extra loss.

Making sure you are properly hydrated is an important part of general wellbeing - both feeling and looking good - drink up! (Source:


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