How much water should you drink a day in heatwave? How many litres or pints of water is advised in hot weather
Heat health alerts are in place across England, Scotland and Wales - although the heatwave UK will not be as hot as the extreme July weather event
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While drought conditions mean water is scarcer than usual in many areas of England and Wales - a situation that has led to hosepipe bans in both nations - water is a key way of keeping safe during heatwaves.
So how much should you be drinking - and how can you find water near you?
Why do we need to drink water?
Water is a vital way of keeping the body hydrated.
If we don’t keep our hydration levels high, important bodily functions begin to go into decline.
For example, if you do not have enough fluid in your system, your body will not be able to regulate its temperature properly - something which could prove dangerous in hot weather.
How much water should you drink in a day?
According to UK government guidelines as set out in the Eatwell nutrition guidelines, we should all aim to drink at least six to eight cups of water a day.
If we say the average glass or cup is 250ml, this means you should be drinking somewhere in the region of 1.5 to two litres (2.6 to 3.5 pints) of fluid per day.
Low-fat milks, low-sugar or completely sugar-free drinks, like tea and coffee, all count towards this total.
Fruit juices and smoothies also count, but the NHS recommends keeping consumption to no more than 150ml a day given these fluids can contain a lot of sugar.
If you exercise or you are in the middle of a heatwave, you will need to up your water intake because you are likely to lose more fluid than usual through sweat.
There’s no perfect science for how much water you should drink in these sorts of circumstances.
Healthcare provider Bupa suggests weighing yourself in the morning before an exercise session and then doing it again later after the workout to see how much weight you have lost.
By calculating the difference between the two figures, you can see how much fluid you need to replace.
It recommends drinking up to a litre-and-a-half of fluid for every kilogram you lose between weigh-ins.
You could do the same if you have been in high temperatures for a prolonged period.
You will know you need to drink more if you have some or all of the following symptoms:
- Feeling thirsty
- Dark yellow and strong smelling urine
- Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
- Feeling tired
- Dry mouth, lips and eyes
- Urinating little and fewer than four times per day
How can you find water near you?
Most places that serve food and drink should be able to provide you with a free glass of water if you ask for one.
However, they may charge you for use of the glass or for their service.
Schools and workplaces are legally required to provide water, or at least to make it easily accessible.
If you are out and about in a town or city, you can download the Refill app which shows businesses in your vicinity that, amongst other things, will provide water bottle refills.