As you probably know, hydration is important; it is essential to living a healthy life. Your body needs water to work, maintain temperature, remove waste, and lubricate your joints. What you may not know is that 75 percent of Americans have chronic dehydration, according to the Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies. The old guidelines of 8 glasses of 8-ounces of water a day no longer are correct. These days, an average person should be drinking between 25 to 50 percent of their body weight in ounces daily. However, a person’s water consumption ultimately depends on a number of factors including a his or her age, weight, gender, activity level, and temperature.
There are several ways to stay hydrated beyond sipping water all day long. Although, water is the best way to hydrate the body. Plenty of other liquids (juice, milk, tea, coffee, coconut water), fruits and vegetables supply a person with water. Here are some other foods and beverages that can help hydrate: hamburger, chicken breast, celery, cucumber, soup, watermelon, grapes, sports drinks, and Jell-O. Sea salt is also a good addition to the diet (in moderation) because it helps balance water and potassium levels in the body, and sodium and potassium enhance hydration.
Another way to stay hydrated is to exercise. Increasing one’s circulation actually promotes hydration in the body by improving electrolyte levels and bringing nutrients into the cells. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, it is recommended a person consumes 16 to 20 ounces of water at least four hours before exercise and 3 to 8 ounces every 15 minutes during exercise.
If a person is properly hydrated, he or she should be going to the bathroom every two to three hours, and his or her urine will be a pale yellow in color. If the urine is a darker color, this is a sign of improper hydration.
Along with the color of urine, another sign of dehydration is thirst. If you’re thirsty then that means your body is already dehydrated. Others signs of dehydration include: dry mouth, headache, little to no urine, lightheadedness, or fatigue.
If you’re having trouble drinking more often or believe you suffer from chronic dehydration, it’s best to talk to your doctor. Call Dr. Kordonowy of Internal Medicine, Lipid & Wellness in Fort Myers today. Dr. Kordonowy will be able to identify if you’re suffering from dehydration and work with you to find ways to hydrate yourself better throughout the day to live a healthier life. To book an appointment, click here or call 239-362-3005, ext. 200.