We’ve all heard it…’you should drink more water’! But how much is enough and is it really worth all those extra trips to the bathroom?
The general consensus over the years is to drink 8 glasses of water a day. This idea came from a 1945 recommendation by the U.S. Food and Nutrition Board where it was suggested that 2.5L of water be consumed per person per day for adequate hydration. But is this true?
The fun part about water consumption is that it is not just what we drink, it is in our food too! Water-rich foods such as watermelon, vegetables, and eggs can have a water content of up to 91%. Another fun little fact, research shows that drinking coffee does not cause dehydration. However coffee and tea should be consumed in moderation. Sports drinks are also great for replenishing fluids, but it is important to be mindful of sugar content.
Common signs of dehydration are:
• Feeling Thirsty
• Dry mouth, lips, eyes, or skin
• Flushed face/skin
• Headaches or confusion
• Low blood pressure and high heart rate
• Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
• Loss of appetite, but may be craving sugar
• Dark yellow or strong smelling urine
• Urinating 4 or less times per day
All in all, the general rule of thumb is if you feel thirsty, drink water! Please be mindful that if you live in a particularly dry climate, like Arizona, you do need to consume more water to prevent dehydration. Working out will cause you to lose water and should be replenished with drinking water or other fluid-replacing drinks. Additionally, the elderly should try to drink more water than just when they feel thirst as we tend to lose this urge as we age. Other people who should consume more water throughout the day are those with medical conditions such as kidney stones, urinary tract infections (UTI’s) or vomiting/diarrhea. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should also increase their fluid intake to maintain hydration.
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