Water 101 – How much do you need and when should you drink?

A glass of iced water


It covers about 70% of the planet we live on and makes up about 2/3rds of our body.

We know that water is essential to life – after all, without it there would be no beer. Or coffee.

But is it the elixir of life or merely an essential resource that we spend too much time worrying about?

Madonna seems to think it’s the former.  A friend of mine was recently offered some left over bottles from her tour by one of the back stage crew. This stuff was priced £40 PER BOTTLE!

Still, she obviously has the money and it’s working wonders,……right?

No!? Well at least it keeps her happy.

The reality of the modern economy is that nothing is truly free but water is.

At least it can be.  Maybe not in the convenience of your own home but you get the idea.

What we do know is that consuming water is essential not only to survive but for a huge list of everyday bodily functions such as energy production, muscle growth & transporting nutrients around the body.

Oh a special mention of course for the bodies ability to use water to help ‘detox’ the body. Yup, no special craziness or voodoo required to detox. Just water and a working liver.  Your body will do the rest.

So how much water do we need and when should you drink?


The more the merrier?

So what you’re probably wondering is ‘if water is so great, then the more we drink the better we will look, feel etc’?

Well, not really, as it turns out.

When you consume more water than normal do you develop super human powers?


Unless your super power is weeing more frequently.  I’m not so sure Marvel will come calling any time soon.

Your body is the most complex machine in existence.

It does a damn good job of adjusting things to its requirements in spite of what we may try and make it do.

If you don’t drink enough it will tell you you’re thirsty.  Too much and you’ll be visiting the little boys room more often to get rid of the excess.

There are some rough guidelines on water intake out there.

1.6 litres for women and 2 litres for men.

Of course these are about as accurate as the guideline calorie intakes – (not very).

Then there are the guidelines that give you a pretty specific number based on your bodyweight.

35-65ml per kg of bodyweight is the recommendation.

Your activity levels & climate will dictate which end of the scale you go for.

As an example, an 80kg male will therefore need 2.8-5.2 litres per day.

However, if like me this all sounds like a ball ache, I have a novel and simple solution that I like to use with all my clients……..


The secret to the perfect water intake

Drink when you’re thirsty!

That’s it.

I know you were hoping \ expecting something more scientific but I’m afraid that really is as complex as it needs to be.

If you exercise then it’s probably a good idea to increase water consumption to a degree before, during and after your workout.

However, be careful not to overdo it.

Loading up excessively can be very harmful.

For most gym sessions about 500ml before, during and after should be fine for the majority of folks.

In daily life however, most of the population don’t drink enough.

You might start off with the best of intentions in the morning but with that project deadline or sales target looming you jump head first into your work and before you know it it’s the end of the day.

Now you’re nursing a rotten headache and neon yellow pee.


Are you taking the piss?

What’s all this potty talk about?

Well, another way to tell if you need to drink more water is by the colour of your wee.

See the guide below:

dehydration chart

A chart to help you tell whether or not you are dehydrated













While we’re in for toilet talk, if you’ve not been for a number 2 for a while then this can be another sign of dehydration and upping your water intake would be advisable.


Is that nice and clear?

No, not your wee this time.

But I hope this clears things up for you a little.

Chances are you would benefit from drinking a bit more water.

Try and drink when you’re thirsty or more if it’s hot or you’re exercising.

You will probably notice improvements in energy, mood and concentration.

Little and often or larger amounts less frequently?

As with everything, I advise all my clients to do what is the most convenient for them as long as it’s getting them the desired results.

You have more important things to worry about in your life than how many ml’s to drink and how to spread that out.

So just drink and be merry (although maybe lay off the booze – especially if you’re at work)!


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