How much do you need?
- The general rule of thumb is 6-8 glasses of water a day. But, you can calculate your daily needs by multiplying your weight by 0.3.
- Exercise can make a dent in your fluid levels. For every 100g of weight you sweat and pant off, you need to replace it with 100ml of water.
- Certain medical conditions, such as heart and kidney problems, call for a restricted fluid intake. So, check with your doctor about your needs.
Easy ways to go with the flow
You know you should, you wish you could, but somehow you just can’t manage to drink all the water you need. These tips will help make it second nature.
- Carry a water bottle around with you and keep a jug of water on the table to remind you to drink.
- Set reminders on your phone, and computer and leave notes around the house to help you to remember.
- Spread drinks over the day – you can’t absorb the recommended two litres all at once.
- Serve all meals with a glass of water. Unless you have had weight-loss surgery to limit the size of your stomach, this helps to satisfy you with smaller portions and actually aids digestion.
- Add flavour – make water more appealing. Low-kilojoule cordial, soft drinks and herbal teas are acceptable flavourings, but limit your intake.
- Eat the daily recommended two serves of fruit and five of vegetables – the high water content aids hydration.
- Hydrate before, during and after exercise, especially if you sweat heavily.
- Fix any incontinence issues that discourage you from drinking enough – your doctor can help. Remember to do your pelvic floor exercises. Regular exercise will also help strengthen your muscles.
What’s in your water?
- Tap-water is cheap and contains natural minerals, such as magnesium, plus small amounts of germ-killing chlorine
or chloromine. It may have added fluoride, which can help prevent tooth decay.
- Filtered water is an option if you are not keen on the chemicals in tap-water. You can have a filter installed on your tap. Go for a good-quality carbon filter rated to 1 micron, which will remove potentially harmful chlorine, as well as most bacteria and germs.
- Bottled water – its convenience comes at a cost – and not just what you pay over the counter. Plastic bottles have a significant environmental impact, so make sure you recycle your bottles.
- Sparkling water – soda or natural sparkling mineral water – is a perfectly safe option. Despite common belief, soda water contains little or no sodium