Whether you’re on the quest for glowing skin (aren’t we all!?) or just mindful of nutrition and healthy eating, it’s definitely worthwhile checking yourself every now and then to make sure you’re drinking enough water.

Your water intake plays a big– in fact HUGE - part in how you metabolise food, how hydrated and plump your complexion looks and not to mention making sure your organs do everything they need to do. While you’ve no doubt caught on that glugging glasses provides countless benefits to the mind and body, you might still be confused about how much water you should drink per day. That old adage, drink eight glasses of water a day, gets thrown around a lot – but is there truth in it?

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How much water do you need to drink?

A number of factors come into play when it comes to deciphering how much water you should be drinking. Many health and lifestyle factors affect the amount of water your body needs – ranging from how much exercise you do, to the climate you live in. All things considered, the eight-glasses-a-day mantra isn't really accurate – your daily water intake should be a little more personalised than this.

A report by the National Academies of Sciences found women should consume a total of approximately 2.7 litres of water from drinks and food each day, while men should get 3.7 litres daily. These guidelines are based on the average well-hydrated person and don't take into account other elements such as if you are in hot weather or exercising.

Men vs Women Water Intake
Typically, women need less water than men / Freepik

Do other types of drinks count?

If the above numbers seem like awfully large amounts of water, it's because you should get about 20 per cent of that fluid from food. Certain foods, such as water-rich fruit and veges – including lettuce, cucumber and melon to name a few – will help hydrate your body. Other drinks, such as milk, juice, and even coffee and tea, count toward hydration (it's a myth that coffee makes you dehydrated!)

How to tell your water intake is enough

When it comes down to it, you should pay attention to how your body feels. If you're thirsty, your body is telling you to drink up – don't just ignore it! Besides that, another way to tell if your water consumption is enough is to take a peek inside the toilet after peeing. Light yellow urine is an indicator that you are most likely hydrated enough, while if its darker or smells strongly it's time to up you water intake. Other tell-tale signs of dehydration are a headache, a dry mouth or chapped lips, and you might also have bad breath! You can also track how much water you drink with an app, which makes it a whole lot easier.

Woman Drinking Water
It's all about paying attention to how your body feels /  Unsplash

The bottom line

There is no magic number when it comes to hydration – everyone's needs vary depending on age, health, weight, where they live and how much physical activity they do. Drink up in warmer weather and when you sweat, but let thirst be your guide.

Main image: Unsplash

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