Hydration for Health
Water represents a critical nutrient whose absence will be lethal within days. As the days cool off, it can be harder for some to consume enough water to keep themselves fully hydrated.
So, how much water do we need?
The amount of water a person needs depends on a number of factors, including climatic conditions, clothing worn and exercise intensity and duration, as well as certain medical conditions. We lose about 2 litres of water per day through urine, perspiration and breathing. So a simple goal for adults, even during the winter months, is to drink at least 2 litres of water per day. During the summer months here in Queensland, we recommend increasing that volume, particularly if you are spending time sweating outdoors – or at the gym!
The reported health effects of chronic mild dehydration and poor fluid intake include increased risk of kidney stones, urinary tract cancers, colon cancer and mitral valve prolapse as well as diminished physical and mental performance.
Does coffee/tea count?
For those coffee (and tea) lovers out there (and believe me, we are not judging you!) be cautious. Coffee contains caffeine, which is a mild diuretic, meaning it will actually create a loss of fluid with the body. Although not as bad as once thought, we always recommend at least one glass of water for each coffee you consume.
This is general advice, for adults only. Please be aware that water intake is different for children and infants and should be considered when reading this article. Anyone with a medical condition should also consult their GP regarding adequate water intake.