There’s a lot of talk about water these days, and ultimately the question everyone wants answered is, how much do you need? The truth is, that number is entirely dependent on the person asking – their lifestyle, activity levels, eating habits, and even climate. The best way to figure out what you need is by paying attention to your body.
Dehydration actually sets in before you start feeling thirsty, and is often indicated by, oddly enough, feeling slightly hungry. If you find yourself feeling like a snack, try having a glass of water first, and see what happens. Sipping water throughout the day can also help curb dehydration and is one of the simplest ways to deal with it. For people who struggle in the mornings, having a couple of glasses of water right when you wake up will help boost your blood pressure to normal levels. It will also help clean out your system and get you to the bathroom quickly.
Luckily our bodies come equipped with an attentive water detection system called thirst. Once your body has lost between one to two percent of its total water content, it will signal its needs by making you feel thirsty.
A simple rule of thumb for assessing your water needs is by looking at the colour of your urine. Dark urine likely indicates your kidneys are retaining fluid to maintain normal body functions. However, this isn’t to be confused with darker urine due to supplement intake, such as multi-vitamins.
If you are dehydrated, you will also likely urinate less often. According to Dr. Mercola, a healthy person urinates about 7-8 times per day. So monitoring how often you are urinating in a day is an important assessment tool.