Why drinking water is important and what are recommended volumes?

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Why water is needed by the body

Water is needed by our body to maintain its normal function by favouring waste elimination (e.g. through urine) and renewing body fluids while keeping a normal temperature.

What are the signs of dehydration?

  • Headaches
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Bad mood
  • Confusion
  • Increased body temperature
  • Constipation
  • Dark urine
  • Kidney stones

What are the recommendations?

Generally, it is recommended to drink as needed, especially when there is a sign of dehydration.

About 6 glasses of fluids a day (≈ 1.2L) are often enough for a healthy adult living in a temperate climate to stay hydrated.

Drinking water is favoured against drinking other liquids. It does not bring additional calories, in contrast with soda for instance. Thus, it helps weight control. It is also neutral and does not contain any psychoactive substance, in contrast with caffeinated and alcoholic drinks.

What are the factors influencing the water that our body needs?

  • Living in hot areas requires more liquid consumption
  • Elderly people need to drink more because they do not feel thirst as they should  
  • Some diseases such as diarrhoea and vomiting require an intensive hydration to compensate the loss of body fluids
  • During pregnancy and breastfeeding, women need to drink more
  • Exercise requires a greater rehydration
  • Drug intake (e.g. opiates) could require more water consumption

Tips to drink more fluids

  • Always have a water bottle at hand for easy access
  • Choose water instead of other drinks in restaurants, it is cheaper and better for weight control
  • Add a wage of lime, lemon, or cucumber to your water bottle for a better taste
  • Drink a cup of water or two at every meal
  • While exercising, it is good to drink water all along
  • Hunger is often confused with thirst; therefore, it is good to drink when feeling hungry


Drink as much water as your body needs.