Your body needs water to survive, and if you’re not drinking enough water you can become dehydrated and potentially even hospitalized. So how much water should you be drinking? How can you tell if you are dehydrated? And what are the side effects of being dehydrated? These are all questions answered in this guide to staying hydrated. I’ll also help you calculate how much water your body needs, whether it’s more than eight glasses or less, as well as tips on where to find water when you’re out and about.
What does hydration mean?
Proper hydration keeps your body functioning at optimal levels. Inadequate hydration can lead to a whole host of problems, such as fatigue, bloating and headaches. The Institute of Medicine says that women should consume 91 ounces of fluid per day (9 cups) and men should have 125 ounces (about 13 cups). That’s a lot! Most Americans only drink about 6 8-ounce glasses per day so it is important to do some research on how you can get enough fluids each day.
Why it’s Important to Stay Hydrated
Your body needs water to stay alive, so it’s very important that you keep hydrated throughout your day. This isn’t only good for your health, but also helps keep you from feeling sluggish and fatigued, so you can perform at your best. But drinking enough water is easier said than done for many people, especially if you aren’t doing it on purpose or in a scheduled manner.
What are the symptoms of dehydration?
As you can see from our chart, dehydration will first make itself known by disrupting your sleep. If you find yourself waking up during your normal sleeping hours and not being able to fall back asleep, it’s time to increase your water intake. Also pay attention if you wake up feeling excessively tired; thirst is often mistaken for fatigue.
Why do you get dehydrated?
Dehydration occurs when you lose more water from your body than you take in. It’s a simple equation: For every 1% of water loss, you need to drink 1 milliliter of water. If you don’t replace enough fluid over time, it can put a serious strain on your body and make you feel sluggish.
How can you stay hydrated while traveling?
The secret is in staying hydrated. That’s easier said than done when you’re on a trip because you don’t have an easy way of carrying your water with you, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. In fact, there are lots of ways for travelers to stay hydrated without having a heavy water bottle weighing them down.
How much water should you drink?
You may be surprised to hear that there’s no consensus on how much water you should drink per day. A quick Google search will reveal different guidelines, including a very specific eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. So what’s right? Doctors suggest drinking when you’re thirsty and listening to your body.