It’s a basic fact that we all need water to survive. You probably already know how important it is to stay hydrated. This is especially important when it comes to the summer months, any time you are exposed to heat, or when you’re exercising or exerting yourself. This is because anything that makes us sweat can cause us to become dehydrated. You can also become dehydrated when you experience anything else that causes you to lose fluids, such as when you are sick with vomiting and/or diarrhea.
So while most people know water is very important, many of us don’t know just how much water we need to be well hydrated.
The trouble is that there is no magical perfect answer. The recommendation was always at least 8 glasses a day for the average adult but this is only a guideline. A person’s age, climate, activity level, and whether or not they have any illnesses all play into this.
A good indicator of whether or not you’re getting enough water is your urine color. If it’s clear or pale yellow, you’re on target. The darker it is, the more water you need to drink. Again, it’s a general guideline but it’s really the most accurate method. If you’re feeling symptoms of dehydration, beginning with thirst itself, then you’re already in need of more water. You should always drink before, during, and after your workouts as well.
It’s also important to note that your body will get water from other sources, aside from just drinking it straight. If not, those people who never drink water would die. It’s best to drink the daily recommended glasses of water but you’re also getting water when you drink juice, milk, and other beverages. Even tea and soda will have some water, although they also contain sugars and other ingredients you don’t really need. You also get water from the foods you eat, especially certain types of veggies. So you’re getting water even when you don’t realize it.
As a final thought, remember that if you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. So grab some water and enjoy!