Water is needed for overall good health. Your body uses water to maintain its temperature, remove waste, and lubricate your joints. Every cell, tissue, and organ in your body needs water to work properly.
You should drink water every day.
Most people have been told they should drink 6 to 8 glasses of water each day. That is a reasonable goal. However, different people need different amounts of water to stay hydrated. Most healthy people can stay well hydrated by drinking water and other fluids whenever they feel thirsty. For some people, fewer than 8 glasses may be enough. Other people may need more than 8 glasses each day. If you are concerned that you are not drinking enough water, check your urine. If your urine is usually colorless or light yellow, you are well hydrated. If your urine is a dark yellow or amber color, you may be dehydrated.
Water is best for staying hydrated. Other drinks and foods can help you stay hydrated. However, some may add extra calories from sugar to your diet. Fruit and vegetable juices, milk, and herbal teas add to the amount of water you get each day. Water can also be found in fruits and vegetables (for example, watermelon, tomatoes, and lettuce), and in soup broths.
Sports drinks can be helpful if you are planning on exercising at higher than normal levels for more than an hour. It contains carbohydrates and electrolytes that can increase your energy. It helps your body absorb water. However, some sports drinks are high in calories from added sugar.
Energy drinks are not the same as sports drinks. Energy drinks usually contain large amounts of caffeine. Also, they contain ingredients that overstimulate you (guarana, ginseng, or taurine). These are things your body doesn’t need. Most of these drinks are also high in added sugar. According to doctors, children and teens should not have energy drinks.
Staying hydrated is difficult for you? Here are some tips:
Keep a bottle of water with you during the day. To reduce your costs, carry a reusable water bottle and fill it with tap water.
If you don’t like the taste of plain water, try adding a slice of lemon or lime to your drink.
Drink water before, during, and after a workout.
If you have trouble remembering to drink water, drink on a schedule. For example, drink water when you wake up, at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and when you go to bed. Or, drink a small glass of water at the beginning of each hour.
Water makes up more than half of your body weight. You lose water each day when you go to the bathroom, sweat, and even when you breathe. You lose water even faster when the weather is really hot, when you are physically active, or if you have a fever.
Recognizing signs of dehydration is important. They include:
Little or no urine.
Urine that is darker than usual.
Sleepiness or fatigue.
Dizziness or lightheadedness.
No tears when crying.
Don’t wait until you notice symptoms of dehydration to take action. Actively prevent dehydration by drinking plenty of water.