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How much water should you drink?

Hydration is fundamental to maintaining good health, yet the question of how much water one should drink daily remains to be determined. Different sources provide varying recommendations, adding to the confusion. Let's dive into the science to understand how much water you really need.

Understanding Your Hydration Needs

Water is essential for numerous bodily functions, including regulating temperature, maintaining electrolyte balance, and ensuring optimal organ function. But how much is enough?

General Recommendations

A commonly cited guideline is the "8x8" rule—eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day, which equals about 2 litres. This is a reasonable goal for many people, but individual needs can vary significantly. Age, gender, weight, activity level, and climate should also be considered

“Baseline hydration requirements” 

Dr. Andrew Huberman, a neuroscientist and professor at Stanford University, suggests hydration needs are influenced by a combination of factors, including physical activity, diet, and overall health. He also highlights that thirst is a reliable indicator of hydration needs for most people. However a good “baseline” intake would be approximately one 240ml cup for every hour, for the first 10 hours of the day. (Or 2.4ltrs per day)

Why the 10-hour framework? Fluid requirements are very different in the first half of the day than at the end of the day

If you exercise, you can replace the standard cup/240ml per hour with the below weight-specific quantity - approximately 2 millilitres of water per kilogram of body weight every 15-20 mins.

So, for example, let's say you're 60kg and exercise for an hour each day, then you should drink 9 cups of water during the 9 hrs you're not exercising and about 2 cups during the hour of exercise; this makes a total of 11 cups of water in the first 10 hours of the day.

These calculations are, on average, the amount you should be drinking. You don’t need to take a drink every 15-20 minutes or a cup on the hour every hour. You can take a large drink here and or lots of sips all the time. But it’s suggested that the body receives smaller, more frequent amounts better. Everyone is different for many reasons, so you do you! 

Benefits of Proper Hydration

Research indicates that drinking enough water has several advantages:

  1. Boosts Metabolism: According to studies, consuming 3-5 glasses of water can increase your metabolism by up to 30%. This is because water helps to process calories effectively, improving metabolic efficiency.
  2. Enhances Physical Performance: Dehydration can lead to impaired physical performance. Ensuring adequate hydration helps maintain endurance and strength during physical activities.
  3. Improves Cognitive Function: Staying hydrated is crucial for maintaining concentration and cognitive abilities. Even mild dehydration can negatively impact your mental performance.
  4. Supports Overall Health: Proper hydration aids digestion, nutrient absorption, and toxin elimination, contributing to overall well-being.

Practical Tips for Staying Hydrated

  1. Listen to Your Body: Thirst is a natural indicator that it’s time to drink water. Pay attention to your body's signals.
  2. Carry a Water Bottle: A ready water supply can remind you to drink more frequently.
  3. Incorporate Water-Rich Foods: Foods like fruits and vegetables not only provide hydration but also offer essential nutrients.
  4. Set Reminders: If you find it hard to remember to drink water, set regular reminders on your phone or use hydration apps.
  5. Monitor Your Output: Your urine colour can be a good indicator of hydration. Light yellow usually indicates proper hydration, while dark yellow suggests the need for more fluids.

Understand your body’s signals and adjust accordingly

While the “2.4 litres per day” rule is a good starting point, individual hydration needs can vary. Understanding your body's signals and adjusting your intake to align with your lifestyle and environmental factors will help you stay optimally hydrated. Drinking enough water is a simple yet effective way to boost metabolism, improve physical and cognitive performance, and support overall health. Ready to drink smarter? Incorporate these tips into your daily routine and stay hydrated!


Vishen Lakhiani & Shawn Stevenson - Discover how 3-5 glasses of water can spike your metabolism by 30%!


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