Reviewed by Kate Norton, RN, MSN, FNP-C
Part of staying healthy is making sure you are drinking enough water. Water makes up 50% to 70% of your body weight and is crucial to survival. The human body needs water to get rid of waste, keep your temperature level, lubricate your joints, and protect sensitive tissues. When the body does not have enough water, it becomes dehydrated.
A common question asked to providers is, “How do I know if I am dehydrated?”. There are a few different signals your body will give you when you are dehydrated.
Those signals are:
- Dry mouth and tongue
- Extreme thirst
- Infrequent urination
How Much Water Is Enough?
The body loses water every day through breathing, sweating, urinating, and bowel movements. These factors make it hard to determine the amount of water you need to intake to stay hydrated. Here are four things to consider when trying to determine how much water you need to drink.
- Exercise: any activity that causes the body to sweat. The more you sweat, the more water you need to take in.
- Environment: If you live in a hot or humid area that makes you sweat, or if you live at a higher altitude, you may need increased water intake
- Illness: Fevers, vomiting, or diarrhea can cause you to lose fluid and become dehydrated.
- Pregnancy and Breastfeeding may cause you to need additional fluids to stay hydrated.
Tips To Increase Water Intake
Drinking enough water can be difficult, so we have put some tips together to help you stay hydrated.
- Carry a water bottle with you and try to refill it as you go throughout the day.
- Set a daily goal and reminders to drink more.
- Purchase a water bottle that can keep your water cold all day long.
- Pick water over a sugary drink like soda.
- Choose water when eating.
- Add fresh fruit to your water to improve the taste and help you drink more water.
By increasing your water intake, you can improve the overall health of your body. Drinking more water will improve your health by making your skin look better, helping with digestion, boosting your energy, and curbing hunger/food cravings. By using the tips above, you can take control of your health and help reduce your chances of becoming dehydrated.
At Galen Mountain View Medicine, we pride ourselves on providing excellent care for our patients. If you think you are suffering from chronic dehydration or would like to discuss with a provider how you could improve your water intake, call our office at (423) 551-3562 to schedule an appointment today!