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You may not give a lot of thought to figuring out how to stay hydrated. In fact, many people don’t drink enough water each day.

If you’re struggling to drink enough water (whether you don’t like the taste, or you just tend to reach for other types of beverages) you might be setting yourself up for a bout of dehydration.

Here’s some information on why water is so important to our bodies, as well as some tips to stay hydrated.

Why Is It So Important To Stay Hydrated?

In order to survive, you need water – plain and simple. Water plays a huge role in making sure your body operates as it should. Each and every organ, every tissue, and every cell depends on an ample supply of water. It helps keep the body at a safe temperature, keeps your joints lubricated, and also helps transport waste out of your system.1

Not only does water deliver nutrients to your cells, it also helps the body protect itself from illness. Water even helps support your mental well-being, including your mood, and it helps support the quality of your sleep.2

You might be surprised to learn just how much of the human body – between 55-78 percent – is actually made up of water. The bodies of adults are between 55-60 percent water, while a newborn baby’s body is 78 percent. Even your bones are about 31 percent water.3

Dehydration Explained

Dehydration simply means the body doesn’t have enough fluid. And even slight dehydration, losing a mere 1.5 percent of your body’s water supply, could cause issues, like mild headache.4

How Much Water Do You Need Each Day?

While you should try to drink water every day, there’s not a lot of consensus regarding exactly how many glasses of water you need to consume. The amount that people need can vary a great deal. Some people need eight glasses or more to stay well-hydrated, while others need far less. For example, if you tend to sweat a lot, you’ll probably need to drink more water than someone who doesn’t.5,6

If you tend to engage in a lot of physical activity, it might take more effort for you to stay hydrated than someone who leads a more sedentary lifestyle. Weigh yourself before and after your workout. That will give you a good idea of how much you lost through perspiration.7

If you have any questions about how much water you specifically need, talk to your doctor.

Signs You Might Be Dehydrated

There are a lot of ways you can tell that you might have a hydration issue. These are a few of the more common ones.

  • You feel thirsty.
  • Your urine has a strong odor and a dark yellow color.
  • You feel lightheaded or dizzy.
  • Your lips, eyes, and/or mouth feel dry.
  • You urinate less than four times a day, and not much comes out when you go.8

Tips To Stay Hydrated

If you’re focusing on ways to stay better hydrated, here are a few tips that might help.

  • Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink water. Thirst may mean you’re already a little dehydrated. Focus on trying to drink water throughout the day – making sure you drink more during warm weather.
  • If you’re not a big fan of plain drinking water, feel free to flavor things up a little bit. You can squeeze some fresh orange or lemon into your water, or pour in a little fruit juice to improve the taste.
  • Consider eating your water. A lot of fruits have an extremely high-water content, such as watermelon and cantaloupe. Many types of vegetables, such as cucumbers, are also chock full of water, as are tomatoes and celery.9

Other Hydration Tips

If you have problems remembering to drink plenty of water, try setting an alarm or notification through your phone or tablet. Keeping a bottle of water nearby will also give you a visual reminder.10

If you’re drinking caffeine or alcohol, factor that in. Both can lead to dehydration, so be sure to up your water intake accordingly. If you’re drinking your morning coffee, grab a glass of water, too. The next time you get really thirsty, consider reaching for your water bottle instead of a soft drink.11,12

Talk To Your Doctor To Learn More About How To Stay Hydrated

If you’re like most people, you could probably benefit from drinking more water. It will go a long way toward helping ensure you don’t get dehydrated.

Now, this doesn’t mean you should immediately start guzzling just as much water as you can stand. If you’re not sure whether you’re drinking enough water, talk to your doctor about proper hydration. They will be able to tell you exactly how much water you need to get each day, based on your specific body type and overall health.

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