A survey carried out by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) shows that 89% of the population is not drinking enough water to maintain healthy hydration levels89% of those asked were drinking less than 2 litres of water per day.
Highlights show that women are more hydrated than men, with 20% of men drinking no water at all during the day compared with 13% of women. Age is also a significant factor in hydration levels, with a staggering quarter (25%) of those over 55 stating they drink no water during the day; this compares with just 7% of people aged 25-34.
The research comes as the RNLI encourages people to take on its H2Only challenge – giving up all drinks except water for two weeks from Tuesday 27 May. The aim is to help raise money for the lifesaving charity while at the same time making a healthy change to participants’ lives.
According to the Natural Hydration Council, water makes up to 60% of an adult’s and 75% of an infant’s body weight and performs crucial roles such as carrying nutrients around the body and regulating our temperature . Drinking plenty of water and keeping hydrated can improve concentration, make us feel more alert, and leads to healthy looking skin.
Dr Emma Derbyshire of the Natural Hydration Council and Senior Lecturer in Nutritional Physiology at Manchester Metropolitan University says, ‘The RNLI H2Only challenge is a fantastic way to raise both valuable funds and awareness. Making healthy hydration choices is not always easy, but this challenge gives people the chance to embrace water as it’s one of the healthiest ways to hydrate – with no calories and no sugar. We hope that people will feel the health benefits during the challenge.’
In the YouGov survey of more than 2,000 British adults, 17% said they didn’t drink any glasses of water during the average day. The survey showed that just 8% of those asked consumed 1.5 litres (7.5 200ml cups) of water, with 6% of British adults drinking 2 litres or 10 cups of water daily. Out of the men questioned in the survey, just 2% drank more than 2 litres of water per day; the figure was 3% for women asked.
As our brains are 73% water, poor hydration can have an adverse effect on how our brains function. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recommends an intake of 2.5 litres of water for men and 2.0 litres of water for women per day via both food and drink – from this they recommend that 70–80% of the daily water intake should come from drinks.
Chris Speers, volunteer crew member at the RNLI’s Poole lifeboat station in Dorset, is taking on the challenge. He said: ‘Through taking part or sponsoring participants in this challenge, the public will help raise vital funds to support RNLI lifesavers across the UK and Ireland. As a crew member, I know just how important every pound raised is. It pays for the lifeboats we use, our kit and our training – all of which keeps us safe when we’re out on a shout. I can’t say I’m looking forward to giving up all drinks except water for two long weeks during the H2Only challenge, but I know I’m raising money for a great cause.’
For more information, or to sign up to take on the H2Only challenge, please visit www.h2only.org.uk