Water is an essential part of you. Actually, it's most of you.
Up to 60% of the human adult body is water. Among other functions, water is essential to smooth digestion and excretion, oxygen flow throughout the body (including the brain), temperature regulation, and tissue and joint lubrication.
Are you thirsty? How do you know?
Too little and you might:
feel unsatisfied or un-full
lack of muscle coordination and balance
feel brain fog or slow thinking
feel sluggish or fatigued
not recover efficiently from physical activity
Too much and you might:
feel overfull, bloated
urinate a lot (more than 6–8 times per day)
When you drink the right amount of water, aka the Goldilocks amount (for you), you'll feel more:
satisfied from meals
sustained energy all-day
sustained energy during long physical activity
well recovered from workouts
Why and how to practice
Are you hydrated?
How do you know?
There's one clear way to know if you've been drinking enough.
The colour of your urine is the most reliable indicator of your body's current hydration.
(Also note that some food, medications, and supplements can cause changes in the colour of urine that are not necessarily related to hydration. For example, some supplements that have excess levels of vitamins or minerals may be excreted in urine and change its colour.)
By the time you're assessing urine colour, you may have already felt some unwanted side effects of dehydration.
To get ahead of hydration, here are two main ways to measure how much you need:
Both are highly personal to the individual (you).
How much should I drink?
What's enough for you? How will you know when you hit it (before you see your pee)?
There's a familiar recommendation of 8 glasses of water per day. As a general standard, that's a useful reference to start with.
That guideline can vary widely depending on the person, their lifestyle, and their diet.
People who are more active, sweating more, or are sick (or have other atypical health situations) may need more water in order to stay hydrated.
Some people may need less added water.
Hydration doesn’t only come from water.
In terms of a whole daily diet, hydration comes in many forms.
For example, hydration also comes from coffee, tea, dairy milk and nut milk. And some water is in every beverage that you drink, and even in many foods that you eat (especially water-rich fruits and vegetables).
Meaning, that you won't necessarily need to drink 8 glasses of pure water in order to stay well hydrated.
That guideline changes based on your diet, your body, your activity level, and your environment.
Based on what you already know about yourself and your routines, choose a starting baseline for what you need to stay hydrated. Then, pay attention to internal signals and adjust.
To find out more about how to improve your hydration skills, book a one-to-one Discovery Consultation with me to go over specifically how you can improve your overall health and wellbeing.