It’s a question we often ask ourselves but it’s not necessarily the easiest one to answer: how much water should we drink in a day?
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How Much Water Should You Drink?
Long story short: I can’t answer that question for you! It really does depend on an individual basis. There are just SO many factors that go into the physiologic process that make the question, do I drink enough water? a difficult one to answer. BUT! Don’t fear! I can help you determine whether or not you’re drinking enough water. Figuring out how much water you drink really depends many different issues. Let’s get started with a little background on some factors that can affect how much water you should be drinking.
Disease Effects How Much Water You Should Drink
What kind of chronic illnesses do you have? This plays such an important role in how much water you should drink. For example, if you have diabetes and have chronically high blood sugars, you should probably drink more water than the average person. With chronically high blood sugars, your body attempts to urinate out the blood sugar, taking valuable fluid with it as you pee. This dehydrates your body as water gets lost. The end result is you needing to drink more water.
Heart failure is another issue that determines the ability of how much water you should drink. Heart failure is the inability of the heart to be able to adequately pump blood out to the rest of the body. This causes a build-up of fluid in your lungs and swelling in your feet and legs. Contrary to common popular advice given on Paleo blogs across the internet, salt intake matters for these patients!. People with heart failure should use caution for drinking too much water as fluid overload can be life threatening. The same goes for those with end stage kidney disease.
Exercise Effects How Much Water You Should Drink
Kind of obvious right? All factors such as heat, intensity and duration of exercise, and the amount you naturally sweat all play factors into the amount of fluid that your body looses. How much water you’ve had in the last twenty-four hours, also plays a role. If you’re already dehydrated, well, you need to play catch-up. For healthy individuals, taking in adequate amounts of water shouldn’t be any concern – this would be the majority of people reading this. So, how much water should you drink in a day? Ask yourself these four questions.
What Is The Color Of Your Urine?
Whether you like to look at your urine or not, it can actually tell you quite a bit about how much water you should be drinking.
If the color of your urine is completely clear – good job, you’re drinking quite a bit of water. It might be okay for you to cut back just a little. If your urine is clear with just a tinge of yellow. Good job, that’s just right. Even the third color, clear with a very light shade of straw is perfectly fine. When your urine starts to look a little darker, that’s when you should worry.
If your urine falls into any of these categories, you should start drinking more water. It’s as simple as that.
However, keep in mind that certain medications can change the way your urine looks. For example, (and probably the most common) one of those is vitamin-B. Vitamin-B will make your urine a neon yellow color. That typically happens within thirty minutes of ingesting vitamin-B and will only last for a couple hours, however.
How Much Weight Have You Lost?
Another component to determining how much water you should drink is weight loss. Do you lose a significant amount of weight after working out? For example, prior to working out are you 180 pounds yet after working out weigh 175 pounds? If your level and intensity of exercise caused you sweat so much that you’ve lost weight, then it’s a good idea to suck back more water during your workout to prevent dehydration.
How Frequent Are You Using The Restroom?
Another factor that can help you determine how much water you should drink is asking yourself, “when was the last time I went pee?” If you haven’t made a trip to the bathroom in several hours and you still have no feeling that a destination to the toilet is in your near future, then you should probably drink some water. Or if you’re going every few hours and your urine is a dark yellow, also, have some more water.
However, use your common sense. If you’re going to the bathroom every thirty minutes with urine as clear as water, cut back a little. Remember, use frequency as a guide along with color. There are things that can cause people to urinate more frequently such as diuretics, diabetes, or a urinary tract infection (although there are usually other symptoms along with that). If you you haven’t voided in several hours and you’re experiencing pain in your pelvis, it could be a sign that you have an obstruction – see your doctor.
How Dry Do You Feel?
Is your skin constantly feeling dry and is your mouth not producing enough saliva? You likely need more water. Drink up. However, if that sensation keeps lasting for several days, you should see your doctor as there could be another reason you’re constantly feeling that way.
Summing Up How Much Water You Should Drink
There’s not necessarily a magic formula to determine how much water you should drink. You’ve probably heard somewhere along the lines that eight to ten 8oz glasses of water will do the trick. Everyone is different but that’s probably a good goal to aim for. Use common sense, and let these four questions help you determine how much water you should be drinking.