Am I drinking enough water?

Health
jug with water, lime and mint

Read on to learn more about the many benefits of drinkig enough water. Drinking enough water is really important, because a large part of our physical bodies is made up of water. There are lots of health benefits of drinking water. For example, water plumps up our skin and is central to so many body processes. We can manage without food for much longer than we can manage without water or other fluids.

How do I know if I’m drinking enough water?

The simplest test is to look at the colour of your pee. It should be pale, the colour of straw. If it’s darker than this, it’s likely that you’re not drinking enough water. But some medication and some vitamin supplements can give you darker pee even when you are drinking enough water.

Can drinking more water help constipation?

Many years ago when my children were small I had a nanny to look after them for a few months. Every Sunday she would disappear into the bathroom and appear several hours later looking white faced.  Eventually I asked her what was going on, and she told me that she had been severely constipated all her life. She managed to go once a week, but it was extremely painful. I suggested that she should try drinking more water. After a few days she was amazed that she was no longer constipated. She told me that as a small child she had been taken to various specialists, who could not find anything wrong, but no one had suggested that she should drink more water. Her body had been massively conserving water because she drank so little of it. This made her faeces difficult to pass. What a simple solution to an excruciatingly painful problem.

Can drinking enough water help you lose weight?

Many people find if they drink a glass of water around half an hour before they eat, they eat less. It’s a simple, incredibly cheap strategy. If you’re struggling with weight management, give it a try.

Can drinking more water help my heart?

A study published by the European Society of Cardiology suggests it can. Dr. Natalia Dmitrieva of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, US says:

“The findings indicate that we need to pay attention to the amount of fluid we consume every day and take action if we find that we drink too little.”

Dr. Dmitrieva also said:

“The results suggest that good hydration throughout life may decrease the risk of developing left ventricular hypertrophy and heart failure. “

Drinking water and beauty

Want to look younger and have clearer skin? Checking you are drinking enough water could do just this. Think about how lank and miserable plants look when they don’t get enough water. Pretend you’re a plant and perk yourself up with more water.

Do I really need to drink 2 litres of water a day?

Most experts think we should be drinking at least 2 litres (approximately 4.25 US pints) of water a day, although that has been disputed recently by some scientists. Whatever amount you need, on days when it is hot or you are exercising you will need to drink even more. If you eat a plant-based diet, which includes a lot of fluids, you will probably need less than someone eating a diet full of refined carbohydrates, sugar and meat.

Most accurate way to make sure you are drinking enough water

Of course, the two litres a day is a guide. Probably a more accurate way is to check your urine. Ideally your urine should be very pale (straw-coloured). Darker urine is usually telling you that you are not drinking enough water, although B vitamins will colour your urine, as will some medication.

What causes lack of thirst?

Many people say: “But I’m not thirsty.”

I think probably this is because the body has stopped indicating it is thirsty as the signal has not been responded to for so long (if ever!).

Try this: for several days commit yourself to drinking 2 litres of water per day. Put it into a jug or bottle and drink it whether you are thirsty or not.  After a few days you will probably find that your body starts to indicate that it is thirsty, and you will wonder how you managed to drink so little in the past.

Of course, a lack of thirst can indicate the need for a medical investigation. So, if this strategy doesn’t work for you, it may be time to talk to you your medical practitioner.