How Much Water Should I Drink?

In a moderate climate, an inactive adult can lose as much as 2.5 litres of water every day just through breathing, sweating and defecation. Increased physical activity, such as rigorous exercise, and hot and humid weather means that even more water will leave the body.

It is important to compensate the body’s loss of fluids to assure adequate hydration. This can be achieved through drinking adequate amounts of water, as well consuming water contained in different foods and beverages.

Water requirement varies between individuals; this is further determined by weight, health and according to climate and levels of physical activity.

The European Food Safety Authority recommends a daily water intake of 1. 6 litres for women or 2.0 litres for men, who reside in a moderate climate and partake in normal physical activity.

Read EFSA’s scientific opinion on adequate intake for water for more information

Even a slight loss of water can have a significant impact on the body. If we do not hydrate ourselves sufficiently, there is a risk of dehydration.

Signs of mild dehydration can include:

  • dry mouth
  • fatigue
  • thirst
  • decreased urine volume
  • reduction of physical and mental performance
  • headache
  • dizziness

When the sensation of thirst becomes noticeable, our body is already mildly dehydrated. It is important to keep in mind that even a slight loss of water can impair both physical and cognitive performances.

For more information on national water intake guidelines, click here.