Water bottle with . CartoonWe all know by now that we should be drinking 2 litres of water a day to keep us alert and hydrated. However, we are not always given guidance about when we should drink the water or advice to ensure we get the most benefit from this good habit.
For starters I should point out that 2 litres of water a day is an approximation. We are all different ages, sizes, and body compositions and these will affect the amount of water we should be drinking. There is no calculation to work out how much we should be drinking, nor is there really any set rule, but if we take 2 litres as the guide, we can work from there.
When to Drink Water
For the day you will need to supply yourself with 4×500ml bottles of water. Timing your water drinking is actually very important.
Firstly, don’t guzzle the whole 2 litres of water in the first 2 hours of the day. If you drink too much in one go you can flush your stomach of the nutrients it needs from the food you have eaten. This will result in you being malnourished, so make sure you space it out evenly through the day.
Next, don’t drink water with your meals as, yes, you will flush some of the goodness out but also it is possible to dilute your stomach acid which will make digestion slow and inefficient. This will yet again result in you not being able to get all the nutrients you need from your food.
When exercising make sure you just take little sips and don’t down the water in one go as the blood in your body will be in the muscles and not in the stomach. This can really affect your training and could result in an upset stomach which you probably could do without while you are training.
When You Need to Increase Your Water Intake to Above 2 litres
Sometimes you will need to increase your intake of water. Here are some reasons why:
When exercising we use up water and sweat it out meaning that we have to recover by consuming more in the day.
If we consume stimulants such as tea, sweet drinks and sugary foods we need to drink a lot of water to help dilute them.
Alcohol consumption needs to be counter balanced with an increase of water intake.
Body size, mainly muscle content, means the more muscle you have the more water you will need to consume as muscles are primarily water.
Hot days and sun bathing will result in you losing more water and drinking more.
If you use a sauna then you will need to increase your daily intake.
If you have a massage you will again need to increase you water consumption.
Feeling tired: if you haven’t slept well this can be a sign of being dehydrated and you need to drink more.
Not being able to cope can also be a sign of being dehydrated and means you need to increase your intake of water.
All these are signs of needing to increase your daily intake of H20 but by how much depends on how much alcohol you have drunk or how long you have exercised for. Again there is no set amount, however increasing your daily intake by as much as another litre is advisable.
When to Decrease Your Water Intake
If you are physically small, then you should reduce your water intake, but not by much. This includes children and the consumption should still be more than 1 litre.
If you eat a lot of fruit or foods with a higher concentration of water then you can reduce water intake by a little although it is not that necessary.
There are probably a few more situations where you should increase your water intake but there will not be many situations you will need to reduce water intake. To give you some help understanding when you should be drinking, I have included a “Daily Water Intake Chart”. If you look at the chart you can see that the water bottle is placed in-between every meal so that you don’t dilute your food or your stomach juices. I have not put times down as we all eat at different times so hopefully everyone will be able to use it.
Water Drinking Schedule
Try drinking more water and you will notice the difference, you will become more alert and able to cope with the things around you. By giving your body what it requires you will be able to get the optimum out of it.
Enjoy your water and keep drinking it. I hope this has been helpful, write to me if you need any questions answered.