Have you ever thought about how long you could live without water? Yes, that includes coffee.
But how much water do you need to drink each day?
It depends. As I noted in the What is Nutrition post, drink what your body, mind, and soul needs to thrive and work optimally.
Our bodies are made up of 75% water. Imagine if your car only had a quarter of its parts. You may have the wheels, but you were missing the engine, seats and doors. The likelihood of you getting to your destination is extremely low.
Similar to a car, water is also a mode of transportation. A car transports you from one destination to the other. Water transports life sustaining functions in your body, all day every day.
- carrying nutrients and oxygen to your cells
- flushing bacteria from your bladder
- aiding digestion
- preventing constipation
- normalizing blood pressure
- stabilizing the heartbeat
- cushioning joints
- protecting organs and tissues
- regulating body temperature
- maintaining electrolyte (sodium) balance
How can you tell if you are dehydrated?
Because our activity level changes from day to day and season to season, our water needs also change. The most reliable indicator of hydration levels if your urine color.
Generally, the lighter the color, the more hydrated you are. When your urine is a darker color, it means your urine is more concentrated because the volume of water in the body is depleted. Then, the kidneys, which filter waste, tell the body to hold on to the water currently in the body. Your body assumes there must be a drought and it will retain whatever water it currently has to maintain normal function.
What’s Your Color?
Use this chart to determine if your body is well hydrated.
|Pale yellow to clear||This is normal and indicates you’re well hydrated.|
|Light Yellow and transparent||This is normal and an ideal hydration level.|
|A pale yellow and transparent||This is normal, but means you need to re-hydrate soon.|
A urine color darker than above means you are dehydrated; your body needs water.
How can you fit more water into your day?
- Add flavor such as strawberry or cucumber slices. Or simply add ice! Ice cold water can taste more refreshing than plain cold water.
- Drink a glass of water after every bathroom break.
- Drink a glass before each meal.
- Keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator. Every time you check the refrigerator for a snack or other beverage, the water will be available, cold, and ready!
- Try sparkling or soda water.
- Eat water-rich foods such as cucumber, zucchini, watermelon or grapefruit.
- Keep a water bottle in your purse or in your car.