Whilst interviewing a client today, I was reminded of the confusion in the general community about how much we should drink, and what we should drink….
Who, for example has heard any of the following:
- for clear skin, good hydration and weight loss we should drink 8 glasses of water per day
- coffee and tea and cola drinks don’t count
- when we exercise we sweat a lot and should drink at least a water bottle during the class…. and more after we finish….
Well I certainly have, and it is not correct.
We can drink 8 glasses of water…. however, those glasses should only be 250ml and if we do, that should be our ENTIRE fluid intake for the day….. very unlikely for most of us….
Coffee, Tea and Cola should be counted in our daily fluid intake, but limited, as they have the effect of increasing urine production, and in some people, irritate the bladder, making you go to the toilet more frequently and urgently.
If we could collect all of the sweat from out bodies when we exercise, it would not fill a cup; therefore we don’t need to drink a heap of water to stay hydrated, by all means take a couple of mouth fulls of water during an exercise class, but you don’t need to chug it down… that will just lead to increased frequency and urgency of urination.
Is there a problem with drinking too much? Well yes, there can be. At the very least it can cause us to go to the toilet too frequently and more urgently, and sometimes we might not make it… In the worst case scenario, if fluid in consumed in excess (>3L), over a long period of time, the bladder (which is a muscle) can overstretch; not give us the signal that it is full, and not empty properly. This can result in urinary overflow incontinence and recurrent urinary tract infections, and in the worst case scenario result in the need to use a catheter to empty the bladder.
The recommendation for most people (who are not on medical fluid restriction, or under medical instruction to drink more) should be 1.5-2L, total fluid, for a 24 hour period, with the majority (more than 50% being non- alcohol and non-caffeine).
And just another quick comment; green tea, whilst it is claimed has many health benefits, does contain caffeine…
My BLOG next week…. What if we don’t drink enough fluid….