Water: how much do we need to stay hydrated?
This summer is seeing record temperatures being set around the world. Here in London it seems that every tube station has a sign recommending we carry a bottle of water with us. So, how much water should we be drinking to stay hydrated?
It’s always important to drink enough fluids, but especially when the temperatures soar. Yet many of us don’t increase our water intake, especially older adults; it seems as we age we don’t sense thirst as much. For anyone on diuretic medication, this could be serious for their kidney function.
Water is essential for life and the functioning of our bodies, so drinking enough to avoid becoming dehydrated is a must all year round, but clearly when the temperature rises it’s easier for the risk of dehydration to increase. Warning signs include a general feeling of weakness, low blood pressure, dizziness, confusion, or dark colour urine.
There is no ‘set amount’ of water that everyone should drink. Most of us need about four to six cups of water each day in normal circumstances, so when the temperatures climb it would be sensible to expect to need more – especially the more we perspire.
Tea and coffee can contribute to our daily fluid intake, but don’t overdo it; in general water is the better choice, especially in the heat. What we do need to watch out for is drinking too many fizzy drinks, with their high levels of sugar, or too many alcoholic drinks! Of course, the other great way to increase our fluid intake is to increase to proportion of water-rich real food in our diet, with fruits and vegetables in summer salads a wonderful way to help us stay hydrated and enjoy the weather!
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