How Much Water Should We Drink?
Water is life’s matter and matrix, mother and medium.
There is no life without water.
In follow up to my last post on the 6 Benefits of Drinking Water, it is also important to ensure that you are consuming the right amount in order to gain the most benefit. So how much is enough? Ideally one would want to not calculate and measure out what we have to drink daily, but to reach a point where we are in tune with our bodies and listening to the subtle (and not so subtle) cues it sends us throughout the day for our many needs.
If we are in tune with these constant messages then the formula is simple: when you’re thirsty drink; and when you’re not thirsty stop. As simple as that.
However, we are not always in tune with our bodies; particularly when we are just starting out on our health journey. So, often thirst cues are mistaken for hunger cravings which results in too little water consumption and possible over eating… sabotaging our well-intended new healthy lifestyles.
So initially, it is good to know exactly how much you should be consuming and pacing it out over the course of the day. The optimal water intake differs from person to person, so needs to be calculated according to your individual situation.
Your ideal water consumption relates to your weight adjusted to the amount of physical activity that you do. The formula is as follows:
Take your weight in kilograms and divide by 6 – this will give you the number of 250 ml glasses of water you should drink per day. For every 30 minutes of exercise you do per day add an additional glass and a half of water per day (375 ml). E.g. Sally weighs 66 kg and exercises 1 hour per day: 65/6 = 11 glasses; add 3 more glasses to compensate for the hydration loss during exercise; i.e. she needs 14 glasses per day which is 3.5 litres of water per day.
Take your weight in pounds and divide by 12 – this will give you the number of 8 ounce glasses of water you should drink per day. For every 30 minutes of exercise you do per day add an additional glass and a half of water per day (12 ounces). E.g. Sally weighs 144 lbs and exercises 1 hour per day: 144/12 = 12 glasses; add 3 more glasses to compensate for the hydration loss during exercise; i.e. she needs 15 glasses per day which is 120 ounces of water per day.
In order to ensure that I consume all the water I am supposed to I carry a bottle of water with me all the time which I sip on and refill throughout the day – I know I need to consume a little over three bottles to keep myself at peak hydration.
While many of us struggle to take in sufficient water, those who drink excessive amounts need to beware; as it is possible to drink too much water. This is particularly true for those involved in endurance sport, as the excessive water dilutes the mineral content of the blood which can cause a condition called hyponatremia. In extreme cases hyponatremia can be life threatening. Aside from this very rare instance, water is very much life-giving; and when consumed at its optimal amount will ensure you reap all the benefits of this thirst quenching liquid.
Drink your way to better health. Drink water!
It’s easier said than done
I was exceptionally fortunate to be in a position of being surrounded by great support when I went through this life-changing journey. Perhaps had I not had that support, things may have turned out differently; and today, I could be bitter, negative, sad and living a life of little meaning. It’s my mission to share what I have learned the hard way, so that you too can find the meaning, fulfillment and joy you deserve.
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What are your thoughts?
I would love to hear from you. What has your experience been with this topic? Do you have some tips or strategies in addition to the one’s mentioned above? Maybe you have a burning question? Perhaps you have the solution to someone else’s question.
The best growth and learning comes from engagement and sharing, please comment below and share your thoughts, questions and personal experiences.