I’m sure that many of us are aware of the recommended intake of eight glasses/ two litres of water a day. Is this really enough though? A study in 2008 by the University of Pennsylvania found no clear evidence to support this theory. Simply put, for some people two litres a day will not be enough. If you work in a steel foundry you will certainly need to take in more fluids to stay hydrated as you will be working in an extremely hot environment.
In my own case, when I was working as a lifeguard I averaged three litres of water a day, (not including what I consumed during exercise). Swimming pool-sides are hot and humid environments so lifeguards need to ensure that they stay fully hydrated. I also averaged three litres of water a day when I was working as a fitness instructor, again not including what I consumed during exercise. Modern gyms are fully air-conditioned so although I was not always warm, the air conditioning would leave me with a dry mouth. I also taught exercise classes such as Spinning each day so as well as losing water through sweat I would also have a dry and sore throat at the end of the class.
For some people it might seem a bit odd, however the easiest way to find out if you are dehydrated is to check the colour of your urine. Researchers at the University of Connecticut found that the colour of your urine was closely connected to your hydration level. Urine that was pale yellow indicated that you are within 1% of optimal hydration. Armstrong, L.E. et al. (1998) ‘Urinary indices during dehydration, exercise and rehydration’.
I’m not going to suggest that people do not aim for two litres a day of water, what I am suggesting is that people take their lifestyle into account.