This idea of hydration or lack thereof has been discussed by many experts espousing how much is enough and what are the minimum requirements. The right answer depends on the individual. Gender, age, weight, activity, climate and metabolism all play their parts. The easiest way to determine if your water (fluid) intake is enough look no further than the color of your urine. The lighter the better although only to a point. Clear to pale yellow is acceptable while darker yellow can mean you're dehydrated. Another common symptom is fatigue and or lack of focus. If you like numbers divide your weight by 2 and that's the number of liquid ounces you should drink each day. Generally, women need less than men. however, one half ounce to three fourths of an ounce per pound of body weight is a good rule of thumb with the higher range acceptable for athletes or if you happen to sweat a lot.
Americans don't drink enough water. About 25% of the population would be considered as dehydrated while the rest are "chronically" dehydrated. I used the word "skinny" because water can help you lose weight. It's nature's calorie free, sugar free thirst quencher. Drink it COLD for best results but you'll need to do one thing to start the process. Well, actually 3 things but they're all the same. Add an 8 ounce glass of water to your diet right before every meal. Your cells will thank you for it! This is not a quick weight loss program, however, without changing anything else in your daily habits you can expect a loss of between 7 to 12 pounds within two to three months. Add some minor nutrition changes and a little exercise and those numbers could easily double. I have written about the benefits of drinking water previously and am including teas, coffee, juices and even milk as added sources of water in your diets. Regular sodas have not made the cut although diet soda I'll reluctantly include. Even the foods we eat have water in them which comprise about 20% of our total fluid intake on average. Remember, sports and energy drinks have their place but check those labels for caffeine and sugar boosts that may hurt your efforts.
Yes, you can have too much of a good thing therefore the suggestion will be to gradually make these adjustments in monthly increments. You might feel bloated those first few weeks but that will soon pass and you will be on your way to a healthier life. Susceptible to kidney stones? Drink more water. Headaches get you down? Drink more water. Is your skin dry? Drink more water. There are hundreds of reasons to drink more and none, if any, to ever drink less. When we consider that our bodies are 60% water it makes perfect sense to give it what it thrives on. Can we agree with that?
Irritability can be a sign of dehydration and my literal solution to that is when you're thirsty, drink water. We sometimes trick ourselves and fail to satisfy the urge to have a glass of water only to the detriment of our normal bodily functions. People often confuse the feeling of being hungry with that of thirst. When in doubt drink something, anything that's relatively healthy. Kidney patients and diabetics know the difference and if not they certainly should be able to recognize the life threatening effects of both.
Our bodies are continually in a state of adaptation to it's inputs dependent on the needed output. Get to know your body? The sooner the better!