You’ve probably heard the advice to drink eight glasses of water a day. That’s a solid goal but you might need more depending on your lifestyle and personal health. And with the summer heat in full force, it’s even more important to keep your body hydrated. So, how much water is enough? Let’s find out.
How much water should you drink every day?
According to the Mayo Clinic, men need about 16 cups and women about 12 cups of fluids a day. Water is the best fluid for hydration. It’s your body’s principal chemical component and makes up more than half of your body weight. Water protects your sensitive tissues, lubricates and cushions your joints, and manages your body temperature.
While the Mayo Clinic provides a general guide, the amount you need to drink daily depends on your lifestyle, including:
Exercise. As important as exercise is to your health, you need to replenish the water you lose from heavy breathing and sweat to reap the full benefits. Make sure you drink water before, during and after exercise to keep yourself hydrated.
Weather. Hot and humid conditions accelerate heavy breathing and perspiration. Higher altitudes do too. In the summer, try to avoid mid-afternoon activities when the day is its hottest. If you can’t avoid that, bring lots of water and look for ways to keep yourself cool in the shade.
Overall health. Your personal health plays an important role in your hydration. A fever, bladder infection, urinary tract stones, pregnancy or breastfeeding could require more water intake than usual. Always talk with your doctor about how much water you need to stay hydrated.
Signs of dehydration
Dehydration is a medical condition that occurs when you don’t have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired. When you’re not getting enough water, your body lets you know with these common signs:
- Dry mouth
- Dry skin
- Urinating less often
- Dark or “neon” urine
- Muscle cramping
On the flip side, if your urine is colorless or light yellow, or if you rarely feel thirsty, you’re doing a good job of keeping yourself hydrated. Keep up the good work and your body will thank you for it with optimal health.
Get a health coach
The best way to ensure you’re taking the proper steps to achieve your best health is to partner with a professional. Through the Rockwell Automation Health Management Program, you can do this while earning discounts on your 2023 medical premiums. With the AWARE one-on-on health coaching program, you’ll gain awareness and clarity on how daily habits like staying hydrated impact your long-term health. What’s more, you’ll earn a Take Action activity credit while doing so. To learn more, visit webmdhealth.com/ra.