Have you ever wondered what healthy pee (urine) looks like? Yes, I am really asking you this question. Adequate hydration is incredibly important to every cell, muscle, part of our bodies. Multiple studies will show that over 75% of Americans are dehydrated on a regular basis. If you don’t think this is a big of a deal, think again. Dehydration impacts the electrolyte balance in your body. This balance is pivotal for your body to function most optimally, and not just during exercise or on hot days, but every day. Even mild dehydration can cause lightheadedness, muscle weakness, brain fog, dry mouth, constipation, short-term memory loss and reduced alertness throughout your day. These are just a few symptoms to identify if you are dehydrated regularly and indicate that you likely need to increase your fluids on a daily basis. Your pee/urine should be a light yellow color-this indicates adequate hydration. Anything darker is likely a sign you need to be drinking more water and fluids.
So, how much water (or fluids) should you be drinking daily to stay hydrated? This varies from person to person, but according to The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine an adequate daily fluid intake is about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day for men and about 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women. So you don’t have to do a lot of math and measuring, that comes out to about 6-8 glasses per day. This may seem like a lot, but this does not just have to come solely from water throughout your day. Coffee, tea, juice, even soups count towards daily fluid intake. Also, eating fruits and vegetables can contribute water to the fluids throughout your day, in addition to the added bonus of all those vitamin, minerals and that fiber content they contain-woot woot! Let’s give a shoutout to all that fruits and veggies provide. Ok, sorry, back to the topic at hand.
It is good to be aware that young children and infants, the elderly, and people that engage in regular physical activity require more fluids than the average person. It is valuable to assess with your doctor, dietitian or a medical professional what the healthy amount of water and fluids are if you or a loved one falls into one of these categories.
If you are dehydrated there are some creative ways to add in more fluids throughout the day. Firstly, and this is likely something you may already be doing, carry a water bottle with you everyday. This will remind you to regularly sip all throughout your day. Another option is to break up the day by adding in some sparkling water, or fresh fruit and herbs to your water. This will change up the monotony of drinking plain water while you continue providing your body fluids consistently throughout the day. A little juice (6 oz max) is ok as well, or adding a splash of juice to sparkling or flat water is another way to make drinking water easier. There are so many ways to make drinking water a little more exciting if it is a challenge for you to drink plain, still water often. Take a peak at Pinterest and check out some other blogs that can give additional options and recipe ideas. Happy hydrating!