That question has been around for a long time. One famous rule of thumb we may have heard from our parents is eight glasses containing eight ounces a day...the so-called "8X8" rule. It's easy to remember. But is it necessary?
Like most things, how much water you need on a daily basis depends on you as an individual. Experts say that a good balance of water intake does have health benefits, but finding that balance will take some work and some self-awareness. So lets go through some questions to see if you are drinking enough water.
1. Are you thirsty? As simple as this sounds, there is a message. Thirst is just like hunger or being tired. Your body is telling you what it needs. Your optimum hydration level depends on so many things like activity level, diet, weight and other factors that there is no hard and fast rule for everyone. So if you are thirsty, drink some water.
2. What color is your urine? The darker your urine, the more dehydrated you are. If you find yourself urinating less than you usually do and your urine is dark yellow, it's time for some water.
3. Are you going to be sweating? If you plan to do outdoor chores or activities, it's a good idea to drink some water ahead of time, drink it during the activity when you are thirsty and afterwards until your thirst goes away. The more sweating you do, the more careful you have to be.
Finally, one word of caution. It is possible to overdo it on water consumption. It's called "water intoxication" and can lead to serious health issues like an electrolyte imbalance. If you find yourself urinating more than three or four times in an hour, it's time to cut back on the water for a little while to let your kidneys catch up.
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