Nutrition Foundation

Adequate hydration


How much water we need to drink is very dependent on how much water we are losing in our sweat, urine, and breath.

Our body needs to maintain the water balance within a tight range. When the amount of water in our body starts to drop this is sensed in our brain. The brain then releases a hormone to instruct our kidneys to keep water in the blood and make less urine.

Another consequence of dehydration is our bowel extracts more water from our gut, which can lead to harder stools and constipation.

There is some research that suggests dehydration will increase insulin resistance. Although, it is difficult to be very specific about the effect it will have on us individually.

There is no definitive instruction on how much water we should drink. The often quoted 6-8 glasses, or 2 - 3 litres of water are just estimates. Generally, we can trust our thirst as an indicator of need to drink. If thirsty we should drink more water. However, sometimes the busyness and distractions of life can lead to us not drinking enough water.

To improve health consider

  • Make sure you have easy access to water.
  • If you are busy and often notice that you are very thirsty later in the day, then create habits to increase your water during the day.


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