When was the last time you thought about your water intake? If the answer is ‘never!’, then we might have a problem.
We all know the facts: around 60% of your bodyweight is water. Water is present in every cell in your body, it’s in your blood, and in every bodily fluid in between.
Water is essential for a surprising number of processes in your body. To list only a few:
Maintaining electrolyte balance
As a molecule in a large number of chemical reactions in the body
Lubricating essential organs like the lungs and the digestive tract
As joint lubrication and as a shock-absorber
Sounds serious, right?
Here’s the cold, hard, dehydrated truth: most of us drink too little water.
And it’s a problem.
While we might not have acute dehydration, chronically drinking too little water is going to compromise every one of those functions we just listed, plus a dozen more that won’t even fit on this post.
‘But I just drink when I’m thirsty, isn’t that enough?’
Well, not really. The thirst mechanism is usually a sign that you’re already under-hydrated. It’s not enough.
So how much water is really necessary?
This is going to vary a little bit for everyone, but you should shoot for 3-4 litres per day.
As a rough rule of thumb, if your pee is clear and not yellow, then you’re in a good place.
Finally, since we want this information to be practically useful, here’s our handy list of tips to up your hydration game.
Practical guide to hydrating like a boss:
Set a recurring hourly reminder on your phone, or use an app (search for ‘drink water’ on the app store of your choice)
Ensure you’re not skimping on vegetable and fruit intake. 2-3 servings per day will come loaded with a lot of H2O.
Keep a filled bottle of water with you at all times. Yes, we’re all lazy and it’s often as simple as just having access to water within arm’s reach.
Nail your water intake during your workouts: 1 litre is a good starting point.
Have a glass of water with each meal.
Check your caffeine and alcohol consumption: they make you urinate more often. If you need 3 cups of coffee just to get you going, you might have a problem. If you need 3 drinks… well, that’s for another post.