How much water do we really need?
Email your questions for Dr Libby to email@example.com. Please note, only a selection of questions can be answered. the level of accuracy that can be obtained when measuring your body composition outside a laboratory setting. Rather than looking to a measurement, I cannot encourage you enough to simply bring awareness to your body and any signs or symptoms that may indicate dehydration or fluid retention.
A measurement of total body water doesn’t tell us the full picture, as it doesn’t indicate where the fluid actually is in the body (how much is inside our cells, between and around the cells and in the blood and lymph). Fluid accumulating outside the cells is what can lead to feelings of fluid retention, such as feeling ‘‘puffy’’ or feeling your clothes dig in as the day progresses. Swollen ankles can also be a sign of fluid retention.
Many women experience fluid retention at certain stages of their menstrual cycle, due to an imbalance in oestrogen and progesterone. However, fluid retention can also be driven by sub-optimal liver function, mineral deficiencies or imbalances, and/or poor lymphatic flow.
Thirst is the body’s way of signalling to you that it requires water.