How much should you drink?
We lose around 2.5 litres a day and put back around 1 litre via water in food, body cell chemistry provides a little more and the rest we need to drink. To prevent dehydration, it is recommended that you drink 1.5 litres of fluid per day. When you are trying to lose weight, calorie-free water is the top tipple – and when you want to add fat-free flavour, herbal infusions (or herbal ‘teas’) offer a wealth of choice. Drink plain water hot, tepid or cold and the same goes for infusions.
Dehydration is a hazard of contemporary living. Air conditioning and central heating are the main culprits along with the fact we like to be shirt-sleeve warm the whole time – at the office, at home, in hotels, everywhere. What happened to wearing an extra layer and thicker socks? That aside, if you work and live hot, or it’s hot outside, you’ll lose morewater so, up the 1.5 litres a bit – use common sense.
It’s best and easier to drink little and often so, keep a bottle on your desk, in your bag, in the car. Plain tap water is absolutely perfectly good, and green (doesn’t come in a plastic bottle) and free. Add ice or a slice of lemon or lime for an occasional varation.
Feeling headachy or light headed, lethargic or thirsty can all signal dehydration (and remember sometimes thirst is mistaken for hunger) so a drink of water may be the cure your body is crying out for…and remember to top up on water before and after exercise.
Written by Ruth Tongue