Summer is in full force and the heat (outside) is on! The hotter it is the more we need to be aware of keeping hydrated. How can be sure you are drinking enough?
All we need to do is drink 8 glasses of water a day, right? Wrong! This claim has never been backed by any sort of science! While drinking 8 glasses a day may prove beneficial to some – it can be too much or too little for any given person because we are all different! And what amount is “a glass” anyway?
Here’s some great news – your body will actually tell you how much water you need to drink! But, unfortunately, many of us have gotten so out-of-touch with our bodies that we may not know how to listen. There are other signs we can use to see if we are truly drinking enough.
(1) Check the color of your urine. It should be a pale yellow*. If it is a dark yellow you are not drinking enough water and if it is clear you may be drinking too much**.
(2) Note how often you need to urinate. If the amount is scant or you haven’t gone in many hours you likely need to drink more.
*If you are taking a multi-vitamin that contains B2 your urine will show a fluorescent yellow color (therefore checking the color will not be a good indicator for you).
**Realize if you are drinking diuretics (fluids that increase urination)(tea, coffee) or other fluids (juice or soda) this many not be an accurate indication of your hydration.
Remember you should actually be getting a large amount of your water intake daily through the foods that you eat. Typically the foods with the highest water content (think raw fruits and veggies) are the healthiest for you! If you are not eating many fruits and veggies you will have to consume more water.
Yes you CAN in fact be overhydrated. More commonly people err to the side of dehydration but you can overdo it. If you drink too much water, the sodium levels in your blood may drop to dangerously low levels, causing hyponatremia — a dangerous condition in which your cells swell with too much water. Symptoms can include confusion, hallucinations, fatigue, nausea, muscle spasms, irritability and headaches .
As always, the best type of water to drink is filtered water. Did you know that with the mass intake of pharmaceuticals in our country there is actually traces of many drugs in our drinking water? Yikes!
In conclusion, always drink water when you are thirsty and try to listen to your body cues. Drink pure, filtered water and consume lots of fruits and vegetables! Enjoy your summer!