Did you know that it’s possible to survive for weeks without food? But without water you would struggle to last more than a few days? Most of us have heard that water is vital for our health, including preventing common gut issues like constipation. But many of us don’t really know the science or extent of how good we can feel when we stay hydrated. So let’s take a closer look…
Water is essential for all the cells in your body to function. It makes up between 50-60% of your weight, depending on your gender, age and body composition.
Not only is it the major component of all your bodily fluids but it also has lots of other important biological roles, including:
- ‘Detoxing’ the body i.e. excreting waste through sweat, pee & poop
- Regulating body temperature (reducing hot flushes and headaches)
- Optimising brain function (improving focus and memory)
- Lubricating and cushioning joints, spinal cord & tissues (avoiding aches and pains)
- Supporting physical performance (hitting your personal best)
In the UK, guidance is to drink 6-8 glasses of fluid per day (roughly 1.2 litres). We’d argue that most of us would benefit from even more than this. How much you should drinks depends on activity levels, the weather, etc. See how to assess your hydration status below! That target may not sound like a lot on paper but, in practice, a lot of us struggle to reach even this lower target and therefore stay hydrated.