IT'S generally acknowledged that you should drink eight glasses of water a day, however, that's not a hard and fast rule but it doesn't mean you shouldn't regularly raising a glass during the day. We all need to keep hydrated, especially in the hot summer months, because water is important for staying healthy and energised. It's in every part of our body and helps our cells to keep functioning properly and ensures our bodies are free of toxins. Toxins are chemicals or poisons that are known to have harmful effects on the body. They can come from the foods we eat and through the liquids we drink, as well from chemicals used to grow or prepare food, and even from the air that we breathe. And our bodies process those toxins through organs like the liver and kidneys. WORK LIFE How much water you need depends on how much you lose throughout the day and that comes down to a few things; for example, if you're involved in manual work you're going to need to drink a lot more than if you're sat in an air conditioned office all day. And if you exercise regularly that's also going to impact on your hydration levels and your energy. Studies have found that people who were dehydrated when exercising did three to five fewer reps while they were strength training, because dehydration affects a hormone essential for building strong muscles. So to make sure this doesn't happen to you, remember to drink a mouthful of water for every 4.5kg of body weight about one or two hours before you exercise. Other circumstances playing a part in how much you should be drinking include whether or not you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you are ill. RECOMMENDED But despite all that the European Food Safety Authority recommends women should drink about 1.6 litres of fluid and men around 2.0 litres of fluid per day. That's about eight 200ml glasses for a woman and 10 200ml glasses for a man. However you don't have to stick to the clear stuff; anything from beer and wine to coffee, milk and juice can count towards your water intake, but drinking too much of these regularly is not the best idea. While it's a well-known fact that alcohol dehydrates you, opting for juice or soda over water can add unneeded calories to your diet. COUNTRYWISE FRUIT BOXES If you eat healthfully, about 20 per cent of your water intake will come from your food. Crisp vegetables and fresh fruits, such as those found in Countrywise Water Coolers fruit boxes,?can be a great source of water and the perfect summer food. Water melon and tomatoes, for example, can be up to 90 per cent water. But make sure don't over-hydrate. Some people experience a condition called hyponatremia, or low sodium levels, from drinking too much water. This can happen to athletes during rigorous exercise such as when trying to rehydrate running a marathon. The best advice, as always, is to listen to your body!