Forget over complicated health regimes, impossible resolutions or miracle supplements. Often the most simple things are also the most effective. There’s a lot of controversy over how much water we should actually drink each day; with much of the advice suggesting around 2 litres, but we all have different requirements depending upon age, sex, activity level, and the environment in which we each live.
Just as life on earth depends upon water for survival (with 70% of the planet actually being water), our bodies require water to function too. Most adult human bodies are 50-65% water, with fatty tissue containing less water than lean tissue. Our brains in particular depend upon hydration in order to work properly, and when bran cells are dehydrated, they become less efficient and memory, focus, and cognitive performance are all greatly reduced.
The Institute of Medicine and the Mayo Clinic recommend women consume between 2.2 to 2.5 litres (or 11 glasses) of fluid per day, and men around 3 litres or 13 cups, but this could come from a range of sources such as tea, coffee, water content in foods, or indeed a glass of water. Alcohol and asparagus can be diuretic, meaning they encourage the body to release water so you’ll need to drink more of it, and high sodium foods cause us to retain water, leading to bloating and further thirst.
As with all things related to your body, the best advice will always come from listening to your body. If you feel tired, sluggish, if you experience muscle cramps and poor digestion, or if your strength and flexibility aren’t what they used to be, it’s a good idea to drink an additional litre of water per day to see how it effects you. Keep a reusable bottle of water on your desk at work and in your car, and make a healthy new habit of drinking a cup of water after doing something you do often at home, such as switching on the kettle, using the bathroom, washing the dishes or taking off your shoes when you arrive home.