You can imagine the importance of keeping hydrated considering more than half your body is made up of water. Every cell, tissue and organ needs water to work properly. We need the right balance of water, salts and electrolytes to stay properly hydrated.
We lose water through sweat, urination and breath and need to constantly replenish these levels. Studies have shown that if we don’t stay hydrated, our energy levels and brain function start to suffer. Here are a few more essential body functions that require sufficient hydration.
Metabolism, body temperature maintenance, waste removal through urine and bowel movements, lubrication of joints, heart rate and blood pressure. Basically, we need optimal hydration levels for good health in general.So how much water is really enough, and how much is too much? Is the old thinking of 8 glasses per day enough? Here’s how I like to monitor my own water intake. Firstly, if you feel thirsty, you may already be dehydrated. If your urine is clear or very light, you are most likely drinking enough water. If your urine is yellow or even darker, I’d suggest you look at your water intake. If you have a dry mouth, feel light headed or dizzy, or have a headache, you could be dehydrated.
The amount of water needed per person varies and can change according to activity level, climate, pregnancy and overall health. It is now thought that the average amount of water needed is 11.5 glasses per day for women and 15.5 for men. Remember this comes from your water rich foods as well as water and other drinks.
About 20% of your water intake needs to come from water rich foods. Some of these contain over 90% water! The rest of your water intake can come from drinking water and other fluids like herbal teas, juice and coconut water.
Remember that you are unique and you can use the above tips to notice if your body is properly hydrated. Listen to your body.