We all know we need to hydrate, especially during exercise and in this unusually hot, extended weather we’re having at the moment. But how much and why?

Water is the most abundant, yet often the most overlooked substance in the body, and plays a critical role in a variety of natural processes. Since water represents roughly 83 percent of your blood volume, it is absolutely vital you stay hydrated and maintain a proper fluid balance within the body. Water helps to;

  • Remove wastes and toxins
  • Transport nutrients and oxygen
  • Control heart rate and blood pressure
  • Regulate body temperature
  • Lubricate joints
  • Protect organs and tissues
  • Create saliva

So how much water do we need?

Knowing how much water you lose on a daily basis, depending on your lifestyle, can give you a better idea of how much water you need. Water is lost in many different activities, such as exercise or heat exposure, but even people who maintain a sedentary lifestyle in a comfortable environment can lose water through the body’s normal processes. For example, the kidneys excrete approximately 1500 ml per day in the form of urine. About 500 ml per day is lost through perspiration, 300 ml from the lungs and 200 ml from the gastrointestinal tract. That means the average person can lose up to 2,500 ml of water per day without even actively moving around! That’s 2.5 litres, so it stands to reason that those who exercise, athletes, people living in hot climates and those who are overweight may lose even more water on a daily basis, so these individuals typically require above normal levels of water intake. Therefore the average intake for an adult is 2.5.litres. If you fall well below this you will become dehydrated and the consequences of dehydration are;

  • Increased thirst
  • Dry mouth and swollen tongue
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Palpitations (feeling that the heart is jumping or pounding)
  • Confusion
  • Sluggishness
  • Fainting
  • Inability to sweat
  • Decreased urine output

So stay healthy and stay hydrated.