Does My Body Really Need 2 Litres of Water Per Day?

2 litres of water blog Water Image
Question: I have been told to drink 2 litres of water per day. Is it really necessary for me to try and force down more water than I feel my system can cope with?

Answer: Drinking water can be difficult when you are not used to it, so build up slowly. Try having a large mug of hot water with lemon juice in the morning, then take a 1 litre bottle with you, either at home or on your desk at work, and sip it gradually during the day. As soon as you feel able, switch to a 1.5 litre bottle. Obviously don’t force down more than you can manage. Also make sure you are supporting your liver and kidneys with other measures – that is, a stimulant and alcohol-free diet with plenty of nutrient rich vegetables and fruit.

Rather than forcing yourself to drink a specific amount, I’d be guided by your body. Any combination of the symptoms below could be a cry for water, and recognising them can help you become more in tune with that.

  • Are you prone to constipation?
  • Are you often thirsty?
  • Do you have joint problems?
  • Do you feel tired?
  • Are you having difficulty concentrating?
  • Are you overheating?
  • Do you have dry skin, mouth or lips?
  • Do you get frequent infections?
  • Do you have dry, brittle hair?

The other way to judge is by the colour of your urine. If your urine is a very strong, dark yellow, you’re not drinking enough. This simple gauge is, however, complicated by the fact that riboflavin (vitamin B2) makes the urine a fluorescent kind of yellow. Ideally, your urine should be a light straw colour. If, however, it is often clear, like water, you may be drinking too much water and not taking in enough nutrients.

Taken from “500 Health and Nutrition Questions Answered” by Patrick Holford

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