How much wa­ter should I drink?

South Waikato News - - Your Health -

How much wa­ter should I be drink­ing ev­ery day, I’m wor­ried I’m not get­ting enough. Thanks, Su­san.

Hi Su­san. With­out wa­ter, a hu­man will usu­ally only live for a mere three days. So es­sen­tial is this liq­uid to our sur­vival that we need it more than food.

Sci­ence cur­rently tells us we need 33 millil­itres of wa­ter for each kilo­gram of our body weight. A 70kg per­son, there­fore, re­quires 2310ml (2.31 litres) a day. We do, how­ever, tend to for­get that many plant foods have a high wa­ter con­tent and this con­trib­utes to our over­all wa­ter con­sump­tion over the day. Herbal teas and soups also add up. Foods and drinks con­tain­ing caf­feine and al­co­hol, how­ever, draw wa­ter out of our body and the more of these we con­sume, the greater our fluid re­quire­ments.

Peo­ple with low blood pres­sure of­ten feel bet­ter with a lit­tle less than the re­quired amount of wa­ter as too much wa­ter may di­lute their blood lev­els of min­er­als, po­ten­tially dis­rupt­ing blood pres­sure fur­ther. Another op­tion is for these peo­ple to add a tiny pinch of good qual­ity salt to two of their six to eight glasses of wa­ter each day.

It is also pos­si­ble to drink too much wa­ter and one of the first symp­toms that typ­i­cally presents in this sit­u­a­tion is dizzi­ness (note: dizzi­ness is a symp­tom of many con­di­tions and not al­ways re­lated to con­sum­ing too much fluid). Again, this will oc­cur when the con­cen­tra­tion of min­er­als in your blood be­comes too di­luted. So it seems, as with most things, mod­er­a­tion is the key.

Your body uses min­er­als to (among other things) cre­ate elec­trolytes. Of­ten de­scribed as the sparks of life, elec­trolytes carry elec­tri­cal cur­rents through the body, send­ing instructions to cells in all body sys­tems.

Elec­trolytes are also nec­es­sary for en­zyme pro­duc­tion, which are re­spon­si­ble for di­gest­ing food, ab­sorb­ing nu­tri­ents, mus­cle func­tion and hor­mone pro­duc­tion. De­hy­dra­tion, there­fore, af­fects all body sys­tems and func­tions. I’m con­cerned about how much food our fam­ily wastes. I con­stantly find my­self throw­ing out veg­eta­bles that we’ve for­got­ten about, or left­overs. Any tips for re­duc­ing this? Thanks, Tom.

Hi Tom. That’s a great ques­tion and one I hope more peo­ple are con­sid­er­ing, as food waste is ma­jor prob­lem.

There are a num­ber of ways you can re­duce your food waste but one of the bet­ter strate­gies is plan­ning your weekly meals. If you shop to your plan then ev­ery­thing in the fridge has a pur­pose, mean­ing heads of broc­coli and bunches of spinach won’t be for­got­ten and left to rot in the back of the fridge.

Of­ten we buy more than we need be­cause we’re not quite sure what we’re go­ing to cook. By plan­ning your meals you will also re­duce some of the per­ceived stress that can be in­volved in de­cid­ing what to have for din­ner. It’s also a great idea to use up any left­over veg­eta­bles in a stew, soup or casse­role. Any­thing can go into dishes like this and be flavoured up with fresh or dried herbs.

Dr Libby’s new sem­i­nar ‘‘What Am I Sup­posed To Eat?’’ is com­ing to Auckland, Hamil­ton, Welling­ton, and Christchurch dur­ing April. Visit dr­ for more in­for­ma­tion.


A 70kg per­son re­quires about 2.3 litres of wa­ter ev­ery day.

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