How Much Water Should You Really Drink?

Are you hydrated?  Most likely not.  Did you know that you don’t even need to sweat to lose water through your pores?  Fluids can simply evaporate through your skin to cool you off, often times skipping the actual sweating part.  In this heat, you are definitely losing water.  Second, many of my patients believe that they drink lots of water, but are unable to tell me how much they drink.   I encourage you to quantify it.  We should drink half of our weight in ounces.  For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, go for 75 ounces of water.  Tracking is the only way to really determine if you are getting in enough water.  I too have always thought of myself as a person who drinks enough water, because I have included drinking water into my routine.  A great habit to assimilate into your life is to always start your day with drinking 16 to 20 ounces of water within the first 15 minutes of waking up.  However, as proud as I am of this awesome habit, as I began tracking my water intake, I noticed I can have anywhere from a 8 to 16 ounce difference in intake from day to day.  That loss of one cup could be the one cup needed to reach your skin.  Skin is the furthest out from your vital organs and is often the first to suffer when you are even a bit dehydrated.  You will reduce microcirculation, which brings nutrients and color to the surface of your skin keeping you looking good.  Finally, many tell me that they don’t drink water but often drink tea and other fluids.  Tea and other fluids, especially caffeinated tea, juice, and soda can actually cause you to lose water.  Caffeinated tea is a diuretic, meaning it causes increased passing of urine and any fluid with sugar, even naturally occurring sugar like that in fruit juice puts a higher demand on your body’s water requirement.  In other words, tea and other fluids do not count towards how much water you need.  

 

Are you a parent? Children more prone to dehydration for several reasons:

  1. Children’s body surface makes up more their body weight than adults.

  2. They are dependant on you to get them water or to take them out of the heat or sun.

  3. By the time they are thirsty, they have already lost 2% of their body weight in fluids.

 

Have them drink before they are thirsty.  If they are cranky, fatigued, lethargic, and lips and tongue are dry, they probably need water immediately.  And, that goes for you too -- try water if you are cranky!