Are You Drinking Enough Water?

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Throughout each day, your body loses water through your urine, exhalation, and sweat glands – even when you’re not purposely working up a sweat. As a result, you have to drink water to constantly replenish this fluid. No, coffee and soft drinks do not count toward this requirement. Both coffee and soda are high in caffeine, which act as a diuretic that will dehydrate you. Worse yet, sodas, fruit juices, and other sweetened beverages are loaded with sugars that could negatively impact your health. So, the key is to drink pure water. Once your body has lost 1-2% of its total water content, it will signal its needs by making you feel thirsty.

Besides listening to your thirst, a good rule of thumb is to look at the color of your urine. In most cases, you want to drink enough water to turn your urine a light-colored yellow (if it’s clear, you may be drinking too much water). Also, Riboflavin (vitamin B2, which is also found in most multi-vitamins) will turn your urine a bright, almost fluorescent yellow. So, if you’re taking supplements containing B2, it may be more difficult to judge hydration by the color of your urine. Frequency of urination can also be used to judge your water intake. If your urine is scant or if you haven’t urinated in several hours, that too may indicate you need to drink more water.