Is there such a thing as over hydration?

Monday July 27 2020

 

By Dr Kasenene

How much water should someone drink each day? –Julie
Dear Julie
First, we should appreciate that the human body exists mostly as water. Most adults are about 60 to 70 per cent water, which makes water an essential part of our bodies.

The body requires at least 30mls for every kilogramme of water to stay functioning well. To make it easy for you to calculate your daily water requirements, divide your weight in kilogrammes by 30. The answer you get is the amount of water you require each day in litres.

For example, a 75kg adult requires about two and a half litres each day. Aim to drink this water throughout the day, not all at once. I recommend you drink 500mls or two glasses every three hours. Room temperature or lukewarm is the recommended temperature for your water.

Although it is good to drink most of this as water, you can get some of your water from other drinks such as tea and fresh juice. Beverages that contain sugar, milk, alcohol, as well as coffee, do not add to your water intake.
Some people may require more water if they are more active or live in a hot climate.

In such instances, it is okay to drink more water. You can also use the colour of your urine as a guide on your hydration status. Your urine should be clear or almost clear. If it is yellow or dark yellow, you likely require more water.

While it is unlikely that most people are drinking too much water, there isn’t any reason to drink more than the body requires. Drinking more than twice the body’s requirements isn’t necessary, and the kidneys will likely just flush out the excess water, making you have unnecessary visits to the bathroom.

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If you have to visit the bathroom every 30 minutes throughout the day, you are most likely drinking more than you need.

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