The sign in your pee that you’re not drinking enough – Dr Michael Mosley

Michael Mosley discusses health benefits of drinking water

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The ‘Drink Water’ episode shared an easy tell-tale sign to keep an eye on whether you’re having enough water. The episode’s guest expert shared the exact number of toilet trips that indicates you’re drinking the right amount. Apart from your overall health, staying hydrated has many benefits including improving your attention, problem-solving, mood, skin and even weight loss.

“It’s lunchtime and I’m about to do just one thing that can boost my concentration, increase my energy levels and keep my skin healthy. I’m drinking a glass of water,” Dr Mosley kicked off the episode.

He invited Stuart Galloway, who is a professor in Exercise Physiology at the University of Stirling, to give “the lowdown” about staying hydrated.

The professor explained how to tell whether you’re having enough of the essential drink.

He said: “I think it’s probably better to gauge whether you’re having too much by how many times you need to go for a wee during the day.

“If you’re going five or six times per day or maybe up to seven times per day, then you’re probably drinking the right amount of fluid.

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“If you’re only going three or four times per day for a pee then you’re probably not drinking enough.”

“And if you’re going more than seven or eight times per day, then you’re probably drinking too much,” he added.

So, anything more or less than five and seven times could be a tell-tale sign you need to add a few cups or take away.

How much water to have

Dr Mosley said: “We all know how important water is. But there are many confusing messages about how much you should be drinking.

“For most of us all we need to do is have a glass of water with every meal. It’s that simple.”

There are also European guidelines for drinking water that state around two litres per day for men and 1.6 litres per day for women should be the right amount.

“The old idea that we should be drinking eight glasses of water a day originated from the US health and nutrition board in 1945,” said the podcast doctor.

He added: “And it wasn’t based on any research.

“If you love water feel free but there really is no need to go mad.”

Can I drink anything else other than water to stay hydrated?

Professor Galloway said: “We did compare the variety of different drinks that you might ingest during the day.

“What we found in that study is that if you drink one litre of milk, you then hold on to more of that for longer.

“Which means it has a more prolonged hydrating effect than many of the other drinks that we examined.”

So, another option could be milk, but Dr Mosley warns this is not the right choice if you’re trying to lose weight because of milk’s high-calorie profile.

When it comes to coffee and tea, the Just One Thing host said these beverages can be tricky.

“But though the first few cups will help hydrate you. Research suggests there is a tipping point where these drinks start to become a diuretic,” said Dr Mosley.

“And you actually lose more water than you gain,” he added.

The expert guest said coffee becomes a diuretic somewhere between 405 to 100 milligrams of caffeine.

That translates to the equivalent of about four or five “reasonably strong” cups of the hot drink.

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