Are you getting enough water?

And I don’t mean soft drinks, tea, coffee or alcohol … actual water?

Although these things can contribute to your daily water intake, it’s not that clear cut. Soft drinks have so much sugar that it negates any benefit. Tea, coffee and alcohol all dehydrate, so although they can be enjoyable, you’ll need to drink a glass of water for each glass to replace your water intake.

The human body is mostly water

It depends on gender and age but we are made up of 60-75% water

Babies and children tend to have the highest water content, then males the next highest and lastly women. When you feel thirsty, it’s likely you have lost 2-3% of your body’s water conent. This is when it becomes difficult to think and you may get a headache. Reach for a nice cool glass of water and you’ll soon be feeling good again.

What is the function of water in the body?

Water is essential to our health and our survival.

  • Water is the key building blcok of our our cells and carries oxygen and nutrients to cells
  • It is needed to metabolise the food we eat and aids digestion including creating saliva which helps us swallow food
  • Water insulates and regulates our internal body temperature by way of perspiration and respiration
  • Water lubricates our joints and insulates the brain, spinal cord, organs and the developing fetus during pregnancy
  • It is used to dissolve minerals, soluable vitamins and other nutrients essential for our health
  • Water is essential for flushing out waste and toxins from our body through urine

What happens when we don’t drink enough water?


  1. Brain Drain: This happens because when we are dehydrated, the brain temporarily shrinks. Our body needs water for essential processes so it aquires them for where it is least needed. It affects your alertness, concentration ability and memory, plus your mood. So it’s a good idea to hydrate first thing in the morning to get the brain going. Plus, it’s wise to drink a glass of water before working machinery or getting in your car.

  2. Snack Attack: Our cravings for snacks increase when we are dehydrated. The hypothalamus regulates both hunger and thirst. We are usually more aware of our hunger than thirst, so try a glass of water before attacking the snack drawer.

  3. Skin and Complexion: Our cell membranes depend upon proper hydration to maintain integrity and water ensures our cells remain bouncy. If skin becomes drier or redder, it could be an indication of dehydration.

  4. Exercise: Lack of water can also affect your exercise performance. If you’re struggling in your workout or taking longer to recover, up the water intake for an improvement.

  5. Urine: A good indication of the level of water in your body is the colour of your urine. The yellow pigment in urine is called ‘urobilin’ which becomes diluted the more water you drink. If your urine looks darker than usual, then it’s an indication you need more water in the system.

How much water is enough?

We’ve often heard it said that we should aim to drink at least 6 to 8 glasses a day for optimal health. Well glass sizes can vary so I aim to have at least 1.5 to 2 litres of water per day. Food and beverages can make up any additional but that amount should see you maintaining adequate levels.

You can enjoy water plain or try adding fruit or mint for a subtle flavour. During summer, I often blend up water, ice and fresh fruit (like strawberries or kiwis) for a drink that’s a health version of a slushie.


Other health benefits of water

Physical Performance

Hydration can affect your strength, power and endurance. Athletes are aware of the need to constantly hydrate during exercise. Serious medical conditions can happen if not enough water is consumed whilst exercising in heat.

Helps Fight off Illness

Drinking water can prevent certain medical conditions or bugs such as constipation, UTI (urinary tract infections), hypertension and kidney stones.

Prevents Constipation

Water maintains bowel movement (as well as fibre) so if you don’t consume enough water (magnesium and fibre as well) you will more than likely experience constipation. If you’re already constipated, try carbonated water to easy symptoms.

Improves Mood & Cognitive Function

Dehydration can bring your mood down and cause fatigue, confusion and anxiety. Proper hydration is key to your cognitive health and will improve your alertness and memory.

Helps to Lose Weight

It has been shown through many studies that drinking water during dieting and exercise can help with weight loss.

If you think you’re hungry, try drinking a glass of water first. It will fill you up and stave off any unnecessary cravings.

Boosts Energy

Drinking water can activate your metabolism which can, in turn, have a positive boost to your energy levels.