03 Oct

to drink or not to drink… how much water should we be drinking daily?

too many of us are not drinking enough, but how much water should you drink day to day?

hydration is the corner stone to good health and can aid in weight loss, but despite this, estimates suggest that the average ‘brit’ drinks less than 1 glass per day! – far too little in our opinion. 

dehydration can contribute to frequent headaches, dry skin, slowed weight loss, dizziness, hunger, lack of concentration, amongst numerous others.

the key is to ascertain how much we need to function effectively.

we are made up of approximately 60% water and it makes perfect sense that we need to keep this optimum level topped up, accounting for any water loss or extra water needs throughout the day.

water provides the medium for biochemical reactions within cell tissues and is essential for maintaining an adequate blood volume and the integrity of the cardiovascular system.

research shows, that around 48% of our water consumption throughout the day comes from sugary fizzy drinks, juices and 18% from food – how scary is that!

drinking water, by itself, is not encouraged enough in an array of environments where it should be. there is normally however, a vending machine pushing cheaper sugary items than a bottle of water. this lack of on the go option means we must carry a bottle wherever possible.

 

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Pictured: CanOWater 
Recyclable, resealable and most importantly, served cooool 😎
Can-O water has presented an inventive design featuring a resealable top so you can carry it with you all day long.Kill two birds with one stone and improve your hydration habits at the same time as doing your bit for the environment.
Now on sale in the Cycle 360 Fitness Club for ONLY £1.

 

why is water so important?

our bodies are comprised largely of water, so it’s understandable that every function inside our body depends upon it to do its job well.

these are just a few of the major components and mechanisms affected but water also acts as a lubricant for the spine, protecting our joints.

it’s basic really: drinking water is essential for survival.

if we have enough water we can then lose it efficiently too, through sweating and urination. this is crucial to eradicate toxins from the body and prevent us from becoming poorly. water is always lost through diarrhoea, vomiting and sweating, especially when we have a fever. the kidneys and liver need water to fight off any infection, so ensure you double the dosage of water when you are unwell!

ok, so we know the importance, but how much water should we drink?

usually as a generalisation, we should all aim to drink 2-3l per day.

[example here of how much that is… i.e. how many ml in a ‘normal’ water bottle]

however, if you want to get a little more scientific you need to consider some things such as: your weight and how much water you are going to lose (i.e., through exercise) per day.

therefore, you can use this simple calculation if you want to get more specific:

water (in litres) to drink a day = your weight (in kg) multiplied by 0.033.

for example, if you are 65kg, you should drink about 2.2 litres of water every single day. at 90kg, you should be drinking around about 3 litres of water per day.

if you are a very active person then aim for the higher amount. everyone’s different, but usually, if you are a heavy sweater, you will lose around 1l per hour of exercise, therefore, you need to add this back on to your daily requirements to ensure you aren’t becoming dehydrated.

…and guess what… we should all check our urine! this is a useful tool to determine how hydrated you are. the colour, density, and smell of urine can reveal a lot about our hydration levels let alone the general state of our health. as a general rule- the lighter colour and more alike to water, the better!

And the best news – if you can’t bear the thought of drinking water none stop all day…there are foods rich in water that hydrate you just as well…

 

although physically drinking water is essential, we can also get a good amount of water from certain foods.  the best ones being:

  1. watermelon - it’s no surprise this fruit is made up of 92% water, but its salt, calcium and magnesium are what makes it ideal for rehydration. the summertime staple is also a good source of potassium, vitamin a and vitamin c
  1. cucumbers - composed of 96% water, cucumbers have absolutely no saturated fat or cholesterol and are a source of vitamin k, vitamin b6 and iron
  1. lettuce - an iceberg lettuce may be 96% water, but it’s not known for much else in the nutrition department
  1. celery - the stalks are about 95% water, source of fibre and rich in minerals including potassium and vitamin k
  1. strawberries - 92% water (the most of any berry) and source of fibre and vitamin c
  1. coconut water – unlike many labelled sports drinks, coconut water is low in carbohydrates and a source of potassium. its unsweetened varieties can be very hydrating. studies have shown that the all-natural drink is effective in rehydrating after light exercise. for more rigorous sweat sessions, water appears to be just as effective. + you can buy from our cycle360 fitness club!!

 

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Coconut water available in the Cycle 360 Fitness Club for £2.99

 

by alice ashe. msc. senr.

registered sport and exercise nutritionist