How to make sure you’re drinking enough water

by Laura Kowski on Thursday 08 June 2023

3 min read

Staying properly hydrated is crucial for your body to function well. Our bodies rely on water to help digest food, get rid of waste from our systems, regulate our body temperature, absorb vital nutrients and minerals, and more.

We’ve all heard the recommendation we should be drinking 8 glasses of water a day to stay hydrated. But how big is that glass? And is this really an appropriate recommendation for all of us?

The answer, funnily enough, is no.

So how do you work out how much water you should be drinking to keep yourself hydrated for your unique needs? Quench your thirst for knowledge ­– here’s what you need to know when it comes to drinking enough water.

The importance of hydration for overall health

Not drinking enough water impacts the body in so many ways. You may not even be aware of the many ways your body is struggling with dehydration until your head is pounding. But even mild dehydration can negatively impact your cognitive performance and memory, so it’s important to know the subtle signs of dehydration so you can keep your water consumption in check.

How to know if you’re dehydrated

Dehydration can sneak up on us sometimes. Do you find yourself going about your day without taking so much as a sip of water until your mouth is dry and your thoughts are getting foggy? Well, it may be time to become more aware of the signals your body is giving you when it needs hydrating. Don’t wait until you’re snapping over a reply-all email clogging up your inbox to drink some water!

If you’re experiencing any of the following, it may be time to fill up that glass:

  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • Headaches
  • Dry mouth or dry eyes
  • Decreased sweat production
  • Fatigue and poor concentration
  • Constipation
  • Irritability and mood changes

How much water should you be drinking daily?

How much water you should be drinking every day will depend on a variety of factors unique to each individual. These can include your:

  • height and weight/overall size
  • activity levels
  • diet
  • metabolism

It can also vary depending on the season, for example, you probably need to drink more water during hot Aussie summer days.

But back to that old ‘8 glasses a day’ schtick. Well, to address the first elephant in the room, a glass or cup of water when talking daily intakes is considered a metric cup, equivalent to around 250ml. The general recommendation for women is 8 cups (2 litres) of water a day, and 10 cups (2.5 litres) for men, but this can increase based on activity levels and other factors as mentioned.

What you mightn’t know is the recommended daily water intake also includes more than just glasses of the good stuff. It takes into account the water found in other drinks such as tea and coffee, your morning matcha, juices, and the water content of your food as well. So if your diet is high in fruits and vegetables, you’ll be getting in some H2O while you eat, too.

Tips on how to stay hydrated

These days, there’s no shortage of creative ways to help us humans stay hydrated. From apps that send hydration reminders, to motivational water bottles and sugar-free water flavouring drops, there are a number of things you can try to help you keep on top of your water intake.

If you’ve got a goal of increasing your water intake to stay on top of your health, why not rope in a friend for that extra bit of motivation and accountability? You can even turn it into a challenge with an incentive at the end. All the gadgets and fancy flavoured water in the world can’t replace a bit of friendly competition!

If in doubt, ask an expert Virgin Active personal trainer next time you’re in one of our clubs in Sydney or Melbourne.

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