Essential for life

Did you know that more than half of your body is made up of water?

Water lubricates and cushions your joints, aids digestion, prevents constipation, keeps your temperature normal and helps maintain your blood pressure.

We lose water constantly when we breathe, sweat and go to the toilet, so you need to replace this water. If you don’t, your body can’t work as well as it should. You’ll feel thirsty, and you may experience symptoms like dizziness or light-headedness, tiredness or get a headache.

The amount of water you need each day varies from person to person and from day to day. There’s no ‘one size fits all’.

Things like your age, gender, health and environment will affect how much water you’ll need. You’ll notice that you drink more in warmer weather, and when you’re physically active, compared to the amount you drink when you’re sitting at home on a winter’s night.

Some people find it difficult to drink enough. If that’s you, here are some suggestions to help you get enough water every day:

  • buy a good quality water bottle and keep it with you at work, in the car, when you’re exercising. Many parks and public places have water refill stations so you can fill your water bottle up when you need to.
  • count your other drinks (e.g. fruit juice, milk, herbal tea) and some of your foods (e.g. soups and watery foods like celery and melons) as they also add to your daily water intake.
  • create triggers – e.g. have a glass of water after you use the toilet, or when you walk through the kitchen
  • jazz it up by adding lemon, ginger or some other flavouring to your water.
  • set reminders on your phone or computer.
  • have a glass of water each time you eat. If you’re out for a meal, ask for water for your table.
  • track your water intake on your fitness tracker or health app.
  • alcohol and drinks containing caffeine (e.g. coffee, tea, cola) are diuretics, which means they make you go to the toilet more often and lose water through urine, so try to consume these in moderation.
  • if you’re concerned that you’re not getting enough water, or you’re not sure how much water is right for you, talk with your doctor.

Make drinking enough water an important part of your daily routine. Once you get in the habit, you’ll find it’s something you do automatically, and you’ll feel great!

Musculoskeletal Australia (or MSK) is the consumer organisation working with, and advocating on behalf of, people with arthritis, osteoporosis, back pain, gout and over 150 other musculoskeletal conditions.

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