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How much water do you need to drink a day?

Let's face it: not many of us drink enough water. We've all experienced feeling faint and dehydrated after opting for fizzy drinks instead.

Staying hydrated is essential for your body to function properly – especially in the summer heat, when we're more likely to feel groggy.

Water can also help to clear out toxins, clear up skin and boost energy levels.

But how much do you actually need to drink to feel the benefits? Here's what the experts say.

How much water should I drink each day?

The NHS recommends drinking six to eight glasses of fluid per day – or about 1.2 litres – to stay hydrated. As well as water, this includes:

  • Sugar-free tea and coffee

  • Lower-fat milk

  • Fruit juice and smoothies (no more than 150ml a day)

Every person's body is different, so the exact amount you need may depend on factor such as your health, age, size and weight.

If you exercise a lot, or if it's a warm day, you'll need to drink more water to replace the liquid you'll lose through sweat.

It seems like a lot to drink in a day, but a slight change in diet can reduce the amount you need to consume.

Try eating foods with a high water content, such as watermelon, cucumber and courgette, to contribute to your fluid intake.

And cut back on salty foods such as bacon and cheese, as they will cause your body to use up fluids to dilute the sodium consumed.

Can you drink too much water?

It's possible – but rare – to over-hydrate if you drink too much water in a short period of time.

This can lead to a condition called hyponatremia – sometimes known as 'water intoxication' – if your blood's sodium content becomes diluted.

The symptoms include disorientation, nausea and vomiting, and cases are most common among endurance athletes.

As a rule of thumb, you should only drink water when you are thirsty, and not drink so much that you feel bloated or put on weight.

Source: Tom Parfitt, Yahoo Life UK



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