Water is the most essential part of human life, without it we would not survive. It makes up over half of your body weight and you lose water every day just by breathing, going to the bathroom, sweating and if you are physically active. Every cell, tissue, and organ depend on water to work properly. There has always been a belief that each person needs 6-8 glasses of water a day, but it differs from person to person. Generally, most healthy individuals can stay hydrated simply by drinking water whenever they feel thirsty, while other people require more water intake than the average 6-8 glasses a day. Other drinks and foods contain water and can be useful sources of hydration, however, there are other factors with those things that you must consider, like the added sugars and extra calories those foods and drinks contain. Some foods can dehydrate you, especially things that contain high sodium and fat.

One of the best ways to measure whether you are dehydrated or not is to look at the color of your urine. Any dark yellow or dark amber colored urine is a good indication that you are dehydrated. The optimal urine color is either colorless or a very light yellow, both indicate that your body is sufficiently hydrated.

We usually receive warning signs when our body isn’t properly hydrated, and those signs can start to show up gradually or they can come on quickly, depending on how dehydrated you are as well as other factors including weather, environment, etc. If you are dehydrated, acting and knowing what to do is very important. Warning signs that may indicate you are dehydrated include but aren’t limited to the following;

  • Extreme thirst
  • A headache
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Dry mouth
  • Dark urine
  • Little to no urine, infrequent trips to the bathroom
  • No tears when crying
  • Sleepiness or fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Unconsciousness

Some people don’t like to drink water and others find the tastelessness rather boring, so they don’t try to drink much of it. Because it is a necessary part of life, we’ve pulled together some great suggestions to help those of you that struggle to stay hydrated. The following tips can help;

  • Drink water on a schedule, set certain times throughout the day or every hour on the hour
  • Carry a water bottle with you during the day so you always have the option to take a sip
  • Add some lemon or lime slices to the water to give it a little flavor
  • When eating out, drink water instead of cola or other beverages
  • Be sure to drink water before you exercise, during your exercise activity and after your workout
  • Drink tea, green tea and chamomile are great options for hydration