Drinking enough water is vital to our overall health and being properly hydrated is linked to so many aspects of our daily life. But how can you be sure you are actually drinking enough water and how much is right for each individual?
Water affects so many things in our body including metabolism, mood, temperature regulation, transporting nutrients in the body, flushing out toxins, lubricating joints, relieving constipation, improving concentration, helping with focus, keeping energy levels up, improving skin elasticity -- as noted by Real Simple.
So how much water do you need in a day?
Eight glasses of water during the day is what you have likely heard, but it depends on so many factors like age (older people need less water, your diet (consuming diets high in protein, sodium, and fiber require more water), the climate you live in, and the medications you take (which may affect the amount of water you need).
In her book, "Simply Real Eating" Sarah Adler writes in order to find out how much water you should be drinking, you should divide your weight in pounds in half and this will give you the approximate number of ounces of water you need to drink in a day. She also suggests to divvy up your water intake throughout the day and suggest something like:
- 16 ounces of water before breakfast
- 16 to 23 ounces before lunch
- 32 to 40 ounces before dinner
In order to spot possible dehydration, these are the signs you are likely NOT drinking enough water, according to Real Simple:
Urine color and frequency of urination - dark amber-colored urine happening every 6 hours is likely a sign of dehydration
* Also, urinating every 30 minutes with completely clear urine is a likely sign of too much water -- the goal is to urinate every 90 minutes to 2 hours
Your skin’s elasticity - Pinch the skin on the back of your hand, if it quickly snaps back you are likely hydrated
To make hydrating more exciting, remember you can "eat your water" with foods like berries, melons, citrus, vegetables like cucumbers, zucchini, celery, and lettuce and greens. Also, try adding fruit to water or use frozen fruit chunks instead of ice cubes. Additionally, foods like soups, stews, chili, broth, smoothies, and popsicles -- aim for low-sugar and low-sodium options -- can help boost hydration.
The experts also suggest for every cup of coffee or alcoholic beverage to follow it with a cup of water to avoid dehydration.
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