How much water should I drink?
How much water should I be drinking every day, I’m worried I’mnot 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 howmuch 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.
A 70kg person requires about 2.3 litres of water everyday.
WITH AUTHOR AND NUTRITIONAL BIOCHEMIST DR LIBBY