Hydration Explained

What to Know About Water Intake

It’s no secret that water is crucial to our health. Water makes up two thirds of the human body, which depends on it to survive and maintain every bodily function. While it’s common knowledge that water and hydration go hand in hand, knowing how much to drink is equally important. Read on to learn the details of daily water intake and helpful tips for staying hydrated and healthy.

Hydration Explained

Every day, the body loses an average of 8-12 cups of water as it sweats, exhales, and eliminates waste. Hydration refers to the process of replacing this water by consuming fluids. Good hydration can help prevent health conditions such as urinary tract infections, headaches, and constipation.

Dangers of Dehydration

When you don’t drink enough water, your body won’t be able to function at its best. Dehydration can cause dry mouth, fatigue, headaches, and lightheadedness. It can also affect mood and productivity, causing irritability and trouble concentrating. Thirst and urine are the best indicators of hydration levels. Urine should be colorless or pale yellow – anything darker means you need more fluids.

hydration explained | graphic waves in various shades of blue

How Much Water Should You Be Drinking?

A good rule of thumb is to drink at least eight cups of water per day, but some people may need different amounts to stay hydrated. For example, if you are active or outside in hot weather, you will need to drink more water than average.

You should drink water:

  • First thing in the morning
  • Regularly throughout the day
  • Before, during, and after exercise

While water is always best for staying hydrated, many foods we eat are made up of mostly water. This includes most fruits and vegetables. Foods and beverages such as broth-based soups, teas, and juices can also boost your fluid intake.

Helpful Hydration Tips

  • Keep a water bottle with you as you go about your day to make hydrating convenient.
  • Store a bottle or pitcher of water in the refrigerator. Fluids are more easily absorbed when cold.
  • If you’re having trouble remembering to drink water, try setting reminders on your phone to stay on track.
  • Choose water over beverages with a high sugar or caffeine content, which can hinder hydration.
  • Infuse water with fruits, vegetables, or herbs for added flavor. Try combining cucumber and mint or lemon and strawberry.

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