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Water and Rehydration

Water – it’s essential for every life process you can mention. From the more obvious processes like producing urine, sweating and keeping our eyes moist, water is used in every single metabolic process in every cell and we simply can’t live without it. It even helps our joints to stay lubricated and helps us to regulate our body temperature.

This is why it’s important to be well-hydrated at all times. Most of us go about our daily business in a state of slight dehydration; it’s not enough to make us feel unwell, but we have moments of tiredness, we can lose concentration or we can find our evening workout just that little bit harder.

We’re all made of water

Apart from the bits that aren’t water, of course! Around 60% of the human body is water, and we only need to lose around 1% of our water to be affected; when we lose 2%, our cognitive functions can start to decline. Babies and small children have an even higher proportion of water in their bodies, so keeping them topped up with fluids, especially in hot weather, is vital.

How can I tell if I’m dehydrated

Feeling thirsty isn’t the only sign of being dehydrated, nor is it the first. The feeling of thirst tends to come on when we’ve already lost quite a bit of our water and if you’re someone who is habitually dehydrated, and this can “turn off” your thirst alert. You should look for signs including amber-coloured urine, unexplained tiredness or headache, constipation and muscle aches.

OK, I’m sold; how much water should I drink each day?

A good rule of thumb is to drink a litre of water for every 25kg of our body weight on a daily basis.  Drink most of your quota in the morning and early afternoon so that you are not having too many trips to the loo during the night.

Do I have one or two big drinks or several smaller drinks throughout the day?

For optimum hydration it’s best to take regular sips throughout the day. A good idea is to carry a refillable bottle with you so you’re always topped up.

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