A good night’s sleep and drinking litres of water are, according to every flawless celebrity, the key to a perfect body and a wrinkle-free face. The importance of rest is unquestionable, but is it really necessary to guzzle all that liquid? No, says dietitian Sian Porter.
“People forget that we get 20 to 25% of our daily fluid intake from water in our food,” she says. “Even water-based caffeinated drinks, such as coffee and tea, count towards our fluid intake as they are what’s known as hydration-positive - the hydrating effect outweighs the diuretic, or urine-producing, effect.”
Despite what some magazines may tell you, there are no hard-or-fast rules when it comes to getting your fill. Although drinking lots of water before a meal may fill you up, no studies have proved its tummy-tightening properties. And while some dermatologists argue that a few glasses each day will keep the skin hydrated, there is no conclusive evidence that water can affect the skin or wrinkles.
Porter says that for most healthy people, drinking when you feel thirsty will suffice, adding: “Six to eight glasses of water on top of your meals is plenty.”
But as we get older, we are less able to detect the sensation of thirst and are at greater risk of developing urine infections that result from dehydration.
“If your urine is dark yellow,” says Porter, “have a glass of water.”