How to Tuesdays: Calculating how much water you need to drink per day

Last week in our Wellness Wednesday series we discussed why it is important to drink water. In today’s post we will show you how to calculate how much water you should drink everyday and share some tips on how to stay motivated to drink water…

How much do we need to stay well hydrated?

It is important to remember that by the time you are thirsty you are already dehydrated. Your urine will also probably be dark, concentrated and have a strong smell – the aim is for a large amount of odourless, light coloured urine. It is also important to remember that not everyone’s hydration needs are the same. Age, climate, activity level, and illness can all affect daily needs— and how much we’re each affected by those factors varies, too. A general guideline is to drink 8 glasses of water (that is 2 litres) a day but to calculate how much water you need to drink a day follow these simple steps:

  1. Weigh yourself. This makes sense – someone who weighs 100 kg needs to hydrate more than someone who weighs 50 kg.
  2. Multiply. Use the table below to work out how much water you should be drinking taking into consideration your age and weight. For example, if you are 24 years old and weigh 60 kg the calculation is as follows: (0.35;0.4) x 60 = 2.1; 2.4 In other words, you need to drink between 2.1 and 2.4 litres of water per day if you are 24 years old and weigh 60 kg. how much water should I drink
  3. Adjusting for activity level. For every 30 minutes of exercise that you do, you should drink approximately 0.35 litres of water. This is on top of your daily intake. Drinking only water is sufficient for training sessions that are an hour or less, after this you will need to hydrate using something that has both  carbohydrates and electrolytes but this is a post for another time.

How do I stay well hydrated?

  • Buy yourself a water bottle and mark your progress; use a permanent marker to indicate goals on your bottle. If you need to drink 1.5 litres of water per day buy two 750 ml bottles and make a mark half way on both of them. By 09:30 you should be half way through the first bottle, by noon you should be finished and by 15:30 you should be halfway through the second bottle and so on.
  • Depending on how forgetful/committed you are set a reminder; a reminder on your cell phone that alarms you every half an hour to take a few sips or every two hours to down a glass can be helpful until you are in a good habit.
  • Change the flavour; many people claim they don’t like the taste of water or find it boring so add a few slices of lemon, some mint, strawberries, slices of apple or any other fruit to your water to make it more interesting and to curb some of your sweet cravings.
  • Reward yourself; if you have only been drinking coffees during the day, treat yourself to a fancy lattee if you manage to drink your required water intake. It takes about 21 days to form a habit so don’t be too hard on yourself.

How much water should you be drinking per day? Is that how much you have been drinking?