How much water should you drink for a happy body? The ‘sacred 8 glasses’ of water is the figure you might have heard floating around but do you actually drink that much every single day? The answer is probably not. Naturally, we all find ourselves sipping at our desk or in our lectures, but how many of us actually count how many glasses we have or indeed reach that magic number?

Many of us take for granted the lifesaving properties of pure clean drinking water and understand very little of its power. It not only keeps your body running normally but it plays a vital role in safeguarding your health and keeping you feeling energized.

During an average day, there are at least 8 times when the body really benefits from water, so perhaps remembering these 8 occasions will help you to stay hydrated and on top of how much you’re actually consuming.

Number 1: When you first wake up

Your body is like an engine, it needs to be oiled in order to get the cogs turning and working together. When you first wake up, your body is running on empty and it needs a glass of water to activate your internal organs and remove any toxins before you eat your breakfast. The water essentially washes away the ‘debris’ left from burnt calories that were used during the night’s metabolism, refreshing your whole system ready for the day ahead.

Number 2: Before each meal

Try to drink one glass 30 minutes before you eat your meal as this will help with digestion. It helps to rid the stomach lining of any brittle or acidic foods that would otherwise be uncomfortable, and stimulates the taste buds by clearing the mouth of any leftover tastes and dryness. It also makes you feel fuller, which means you’re not as likely to stuff your face (which is all too easy in these colder months!).

Number 3: With a snack

We are all guilty of snacking between meals, often simply because we are bored or because we are actually thirsty but we mistake this feeling for hunger. Next time you reach for the snack cupboard, try drinking a glass of water first, this will hydrate you which might have been all you needed, but will also create the feeling of fullness. If you’re still peckish, drink water with a small snack as this will help you to fill up faster.

Number 4: Before exercise

This is a crucial one. Nothing is more important than water during a workout to safeguard you from heat stroke in hot temperatures and even frostbite in cold temperatures. Water will keep your circulation system running smoothly which helps protect you in all seasons. Whether it’s jogging with a friend or playing for England, we all need water to keep us going, so make sure you pack a bottle and drink plenty before you do anything.

Number 5: After exercise

Equally, drinking water after your workout is just as important. This will allow your body to replace essential fluids lost through sweating and physical labour. It doesn’t matter if you’ve stopped sweating or that your face has returned to a normal colour, the body still needs water to rehydrate you and keep you healthy even when the signs aren’t overly obvious.

Number 6: After exposure to illness

Water is your best friend when it comes to preventing sickness. If you’ve been around people who won’t stop coughing and sneezing, you might be thinking ‘great, that’s me next then’, but that is not necessarily the case. Drinking a little more water than normal following an exposure can really help to wash away any germs or viruses the body may have picked up, before they can settle down and multiply in your system.

Number 7: When you’re tired

If you feel like you’re in need of a nap but can’t take one, drink a glass of cold water to wake up your body and keep you feeling alert. Water can reach your brain and activate it really quickly, which is very helpful if you’re in a situation where you really need to be paying attention!

Number 8: Before a bath

With the days getting darker and colder, nothing beats coming home and relaxing in a big hot bubble bath. But the sudden change in temperature can be damaging to your body. Drinking a glass of cold water before a bath helps to lower your blood pressure, so you can soak away knowing you’re keeping your body safe.

We hope that by remembering to drink water at these different times during the day, it will help you to achieve the essential 8 glasses you need to stay happy, healthy and hydrated!