H20 has long been known for its many benefits, but can you stay just as hydrated from other drinks? (Picture: Getty)
Whatever your take on drinking water, it’s important to stay well hydrated – and that’s why you need to keep tabs on your fluid intake.
H2O makes up 60 per cent of the human body, and if you don’t drink enough during the day it could have serious health consequences.
And the fact we are constantly expelling water from our bodies via sweat, urine and even our breath means that we must make sure we keep up with our fluid intake.
But just how many litres of water should you be drinking over the space of a day – and do other drinks such as tea also count towards your recommended amount?
Here’s what you need to know.
How many litres of water should you drink a day?
The NHS Eatwell guide states that you should be drinking around 6-8 cups or glasses of water per day.
Although it does not say what size these should be, other estimates, such as those from the British Dietetics Association, have suggested you should be aiming for around 1.5-2 litres of water.
However, the guidance has varied over the years – and the long-held belief that you should drink eight glasses a day might actually be too much.
In 2010, the European Food Safety Authority suggested that men should drink two litres a day and women should have 1.6 litres a day.
For men, this is equivalent to three-and-a-half pints, and for women, this is just under three pints.
An average bottle of water contains about 500ml, so a man would need to drink four bottles a day, and a woman would need just over three.
However, this can also be influenced by various factors including age, and your circumstances.
According to the British Dietetics Association children under 14 need less than adults – while pregnant and breastfeeding women will need to drink more, with the association recommending an extra 300ml a day if you are pregnant, and 700ml more a day if you are breastfeeding.
If you are exercising or playing sport, you will also need to drink more to replace the water lost through sweat.
Do tea and coffee count towards your fluid intake?
If you’re a tea drinker that counts towards your intake (Picture: Getty Image)
Yes, they do. The Eatwell guide states that plain tea, fruit tea and coffee (without added sugar) all count towards your daily fluid intake.
If you are not keen on the taste of plain water, you can also opt for sparkling, or add a slice of lemon or lime to your drink – or add some sugar-free juice or squash for flavour.
However, you should keep an eye on your caffeine and sugar intake if you are adding coffee or fruit juice to your daily fluid allowance.
Alcohol, meanwhile, does not count …read more