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How much water should we drink?

For years we have been told that we need to drink 2 litres of water every day - that is around 8 glasses. But is that right, and how on earth do we do that?



The advice to drink 2 litres of water is wrong, according to researchers at Aberdeen University. It was based on data obtained by asking people how much they eat (as a lot of our water intake comes from food), and people have a habit of under-reporting how much they actually eat. The researchers say the actual amount we should drink is between 1.5 and 1.8 litres.


I find that most of my clients don't drink enough water, and when they increase their water intake they feel much better. I have seen people with joint pain that have recovered just by drinking enough water. I advise everyone to drink at least 1.5 litres of non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic drinks per day. It doesn't have to be glasses of cold water, there are plenty of ways to make sure you drink enough without it being a chore.



A standard mug contains around 300ml of liquid - so 5 mugs and you have achieved your 1.5 litres. Try drinking hot water with a slice of lemon and/or a slice of fresh ginger. This is a really refreshing, warming drink, and very healthy. Make sure the lemon is organic and unwaxed - see my blog about pesticides in citrus fruit. Keep the lemon cut-side down in a pot in the fridge and it will keep for a few days - although you might find you enjoy the drink so much you get through the lemons pretty quickly.


You can also try making your own herbal teas. Fresh rosemary makes a delicious tea that helps with concentration. Sage makes an earthy tea that is good for sore throats. Mint is delicious and good for digestion. Try some herbal tea bags too - most supermarkets have a good selection and your health food shop will have more. I love Pukka teas, my favourites are the three cinnamon and three liquorice, but their green teas are excellent too, although they do contain caffeine.


If you feel the need for tea and coffee then try switching to decaffeinated some of the time. Caffeine is a diuretic, it actually makes you less hydrated, so switching to decaff for a couple of cups a day will make a big difference. Look for products that have been naturally decaffeinated using water - you might find the Swiss water method mentioned on packs. This is a healthy way to remove the caffeine without using chemicals.


If you work at a desk make sure you always have a glass of water ion your desk, you'll find you drink it throughout the day without even realising. I find adding a slice of lemon makes it much more enjoyable, and reduces the need to go to the loo so much. If you travel around make sure you have a bottle of water with you at all times.


Take a large glass of water to bed with you, and drink some if you wake up. Try to get into the habit of drinking the whole glass each night, even if that means you have to drink it all just before you get up. We lose a lot of water over night so this is a good way to ensure you don't wake up dehydrated.


Keep track of how much you have drunk, and if you realise you haven't had enough make an effort to catch up. Hopefully you will soon be feeling the benefits of being fully hydrated.



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