Your body needs between 2000 – 3000 ml (2 – 3 litres) of water every day.

  • Water makes all the functions in your body work effectively
  • Controls body temperature
  • It promotes satiety (feeling of fullness) and helps digestion
  • Prevents headaches
  • Helps get rid of waste

To keep your body hydrated, aim for a fluid intake of about:
* 3 Litre (12 cups) for men 19 years old and over each day
* 2.2 Litre (9 cups) for women 19 years old and over each day

Another way to calculate the amount of water you need is:

* Measure your current weight in Kilograms.
If you know your weight in pounds,
multiply it by 2.2 to convert it to kgs

* Then, multiply your weight in kgs by 35 to get
the total milliliters of water you need per day
(this is the minimum amount you need for proper body functions)

How much fluid you need every day depends also on your age, sex and activity level. Hot and humid weather can also increase your needs.

Caution: people who have kidney conditions may need to restrict fluid intake and this recommendation is not applicable to them. Always check with your healthcare team before making drastic changes to your diet/habits, especially when you have a medical condition.

Why we tend to forget to drink water?

Our body cannot distinguish between thirst and hunger, so it is easy to mistake the signs of thirst as hunger. It is usually too late when the signs of dehydration appear. Therefore, it is important to drink fluids regularly, even before you feel thirsty.


Not keeping well hydrated over prolonged period of time, can lead to health complications:

  • Constipation
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Kidney stones
  • Hypertension
  • Coronary health disease
  • Stroke
  • Bladder cancer
  • Colorectal cancer

Signs of Dehydration:

  • Thirst
  • Dry lips and mouth
  • Flushed skin
  • Tiredness
  •  Irritability
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Low blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Dark strong smelling urine
  • Decreased work capacity
  • Adverse effect on decision-making and cognitive function

How to know you are getting enough?

Look at your urine: if it is light yellow and clear it usually means that you are well hydrated. Dark yellow, strong smelling urine is a sign of dehydration.

Many foods have water, even hot tea, without added sugar, can be counted towards you total water intake. Eg. Herbal Teas, Green Teas, Peppermint tea. However, more than half of your fluid needs should be met by pure water, without any chemicals added or additives.

Don’t like plain water? Try these options:

  • Sparkling water without additives (eg. La Croix)
  • Make mini-ice cubes from 100% fruit juice, and add that to plain water
  • Soak water with fruit or veggie slices overnight:
    • Sliced cucumber and/or lemon
    • Sliced strawberries, cantaloupe and oranges (does not count as a fruit serving)
  • Coconut water can be a safe option, unless you have hyperkalemia (high potassium)

Actions you can take now:

  • Review your daily water intake, starting today. How much did you drink so far?
  • How can you add more?
  • What can you do to remember drinking water. Don’t wait for signs.
    • Buy a Glass or Bottle with measurements on it.
    • Keep the bottle/glass in a place that you can see it and be reminded
    • Carry an extra bottle of water for your car, work desk and next to your bed
  • Drink a cup, first thing when you get up
  • Drink a cup, during exercise and after
  • Give your self a goal (or deadline) of completing at least a litre of water before sunset (or before leaving from work). – Giving yourself small deadlines will help get you used to making this new habit. Once you have achieved this for at least one week, add an extra cup, or reachable amount as your new goal. Until you meet your daily requirement.


Was this article helpful for you? What are some of the strategies you have used?



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