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Know your nutrients: Water

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What is it?

Did you know that only 2,5% of the Earth's water is fresh water, and almost all of that water is in ice and groundwater?! Less than 1% of all fresh water is in rivers, lakes and the atmosphere, and an even smaller amount of the Earth's fresh water is contained within biological bodies and manufactured products.

Here are some more quick facts about water:

  • It covers about 70% of the earth's surface
  • It is vital to the existence of life
  • Safe drinking water contains no calories
  • Water is becoming more and more scarce and some studies have suggested that it will be at critical levels by 2030

What is it good for?

Water can help with weight loss… it doesn’t 'dissolve fat' unfortunately, but drinking water instead of hot beverages, fizzy drinks and fruit juices (especially commercial ones) helps reduce the number of calories in your diet. It also makes you feel fuller and ensures proper hydration.

It also makes you feel fuller and ensures proper hydration.

Symptoms of dehydration include weakness, headaches, tiredness, dizziness, fainting, impaired brain function and confusion.

Remember too, many people confuse feelings of hunger with dehydration. If you’re craving a snack, drink a glass of water before grabbing something to eat – you will probably find that the craving disappears.

The average human body is about 70% water, which is involved in almost all of the body's important functions, from cellular interaction and health, to brain function and fat loss.

How much do I need?

Two litres per day is a good minimum to aim for, however most people on an average western diet should drink three litres per day, and athletes and people in hot climates could use even more. The majority of this volume should be plain water (with a few drops of lemon, if liked), but part of it can consist of home-juiced fruits and vegetables, unsweetened herb teas and the occasional cup of black tea or coffee. However, DON’T use this as an excuse to drink eight cups of tea or coffee a day!

Clear or barely coloured urine is a good sign of proper levels of hydration.


Drink 500ml of water when you wake up in the morning, and then a big glass before every meal, and a big glass directly between meals. This should get you to an adequate water intake easily.

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