It seems like we’re always being told to drink more water, but how much water is really enough? Water supports your energy levels, brain function, and improves weight control. But when it comes to how much water we should be drinking, it seems like every source you turn to throws a different number at you.
The general rule many of us are familiar with is to aim for at least eight cups of water a day. However, the exact number of cups does not determine whether or not we are adequately hydrated. According to the CDC, healthy people do two things to ensure they are getting all the water they need. They drink water when they are thirsty and drink water at every meal. Does that seem too simple?
There is no magic number to know you are getting all the water you need. The amount of water you need depends on your environment, activities and physiological state. There are certain conditions that may require someone to consume more water. This includes:
· Running a fever
· Experiencing diarrhea or vomiting
· Participating in more physical activity
· Spending time in a hot climate
Lauren Dimitrov, Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Expert, says you can monitor yourself to assess if you are adequately hydrated without counting cups. The first sign is urine. “Yellow, especially dark, is one of the first signs of dehydration,” Lauren says, “Clear to light yellow urine is a good sign you are hydrated.”
Perspiration is another sign of hydration to look out for. “If you are hot or exercising and don’t sweat, you may be dehydrated,” Lauren says. She also suggests dry skin, dry mouth and fatigue as possible signs of dehydration to watch out for.
Remember to not forget to drink your H2O throughout the day. Keep a water bottle with you at all times and a cup of water at your desk. Stayed hydrated when you need it the most and look out for any signs of dehydration.