How much water should you drink in a heatwave and why is the colour of pee important?

IF you're worried you're not drinking enough water during the heatwave then there's a simple solution – checking the colour of your wee.

The Sun nutritionist Amanda Ursell admits the method isn't very pleasant, but it is effective.

What does the colour of my pee mean?

"If it's pale and clear that's good.

"If it's dark orange and whiffy, you need to drink more," she explains.

Dehydration can cause fatigue, headaches and nausea and can have more serious health consequences for the very young and elderly.

The affects can be both physical, resulting in lethargy, and mental, causing lack of concentration.

Not only will drinking plenty water prevent this, there are numerous other benefits to staying hydrated – from clearer skin to a better night's sleep.

But you can also have too much of a good thing, as Amanda warns overindulging can stress the kidneys.

How much water should I drink?

According to the Mayo Clinic, it's all about how much you weigh, and how much activity you are doing when the sun shines.

They have come up with the following formula to help everyone work out their optimum intake…

How to calculate how much water you should be drinking

  • Take your weight (in lbs) and divide it by 2.2
  • Multiply that number by your age
  • Divide that sum by 28.3
  • The total is how many ounces of water you should drink each day (Divide that number by eight to see your result in cups)
  • If you are sweating more, eg because of exercise or extreme hear, you should have an extra one two cups to compensate

Amanda Ursell points out that it's not just gym bunnies who might sweat more during the heatwave.

"If you have a physical job you will need to drink more too," she explains. "When temperatures rise you can sweat more walking around so carry water with you.

"This is particularly important when travelling as you might get stuck for a while on a delayed train or in a traffic jam."

Amanda continues that hot drinks such as tea and coffee count towards staying hydrated, but you might prefer iced versions during the heatwave.

What foods should I avoid in a heatwave?

She adds that certain foods high in fluid such as strawberries, melon and cold soups will also help beat the heat.

"Avoid foods high in salt such as ham sandwiches, pizza and processed foods in general, as they will make you thirstier. Check the salt intake on nutritional labels, go for products which are green in the traffic light system," she advises.

Meanwhile, parents should be particular vigilant about ensuring children drink enough too.


"They can forget to drink as they are having so much fun in the sun but dehydration can lead to them feeling ratty and having tantrums – which parents will be keen to avoid!" Amanda says.

"The good news the symptoms of dehydration are easily reversible when you do replenish lost fluids."

For more tips on beating the heat, follow these six simple tricks to help you cool down in the sun.

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