It’s just the beginning of the summer and we’re already getting the heat. Higher temperatures means our bodies sweat more to cool off. If we’re lucky, there’s a fan or a nice breeze and we don’t feel the perspiration so much. Either way, we’re losing water and that water needs to be replenished. So, one of the most basic things that we need to do to stay healthy is drink enough water and other beverages.
The average adult is composed of 50-65% water, our blood is 92% water. Water keeps the tissues in the body moist, helps to protect the spinal cord, and acts as a cushion in the joints. The body loses water through sweating, digestion, and respiration, so it’s vital to replace water in the body.
How much should I drink?
The one size fits rule is to consume eight 8-ounce glasses or 1/2 gallon of water daily. The amount of water that the body loses depends on the climate that you live in and your activity level. so, more specifically you should try to drink between one half ounce to one ounce of water for each pound you weigh, every day. So for example, if you weighed 150 pounds, you should drink 75 to 150 ounces a day. If you live in a cooler climate and are fairly sedentary aim for the lower amount, but if you live in a hot climate and exercise a lot you need the higher end of the range.
If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated.
Symptoms of mild to moderate dehydration include thirst, fatigue, decreased urination, headache, constipation, and dizziness. Muscle cramping can be a painful sign of dehydration as well. One way to know if you are getting enough water is to check the color of your urine. If your urine is clear, pale or straw-colored then you are okay. If it’s darker than that, then you need to drink more water!
Have a great summer!