This is a question I often get asked by patients and when I ask patients how much they drink they invariably say that they know they should drink more water. But how much is enough and can you have too much?
NHS choices recommends about 1.2 litres which is roughly 6-8 glasses where as in the US they recommend 2.0 litres or 8 good size glasses. I generally recommend at least 2 litres throughout the day. How much water one should drink mostly depends on your activity levels, if you are active and exercise daily then you will need more if you are sedentary then you will need less. Being thirsty is autoregulated just like breathing but that doesn’t mean people wouldn’t benefit from having a bit more.
Research outlining the ideal amount of water to drink is non- existent but there are plenty of articles outlining the benefits of more water consumption.
Research has shown that having a glass of water on an empty stomach can increase your metabolism which can lead to greater weight loss than those who don’t over a 12 week study! To put it simply drinking water burns calories. What’s not to like about that?! Other proven health benefits of drinking more water are it may help with constipation and kidney stones.
You can however have too much water. The kidneys are only able to excrete about 1 litre of water per hour. So to avoid water intoxication avoid going over this level.
Hopefully it’s a lovely sunny day when you are reading this so get up and grab a glass of the good stuff.