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Are You Drinking Enough Water? Signs of Dehydration & How to Consume More Daily

The standard rule of drinking water is to get eight glasses per day, but few people actually keep track of their water intake or actually drink enough water on a daily basis. Not only does not drinking enough water make you thirsty, but it can also cause a wide array of symptoms and make existing medical conditions worse.

So, in this article, we’re looking at the signs of dehydration and how to know if you’re getting enough water. We’ll also include some helpful tips for how to get more water in your daily routine.

Photo credit: Katherine Johnson via Flickr

Recommended Levels of Water Intake

The amount of water you should drink per day depends on where you live, your level of activity, what you eat, and your weight. The standard eight ounces per day is a decent general guideline, but it is by no means the golden rule of hydration that should be followed by every person. People who exercise vigorously, who live in dry climates, and who are overweight typically need more water than the average person. Another recommended guideline to consider is to drink about an ounce of water for each pound that you weigh each day.

Signs of Dehydration

Some signs of dehydration are obvious and visible, such as dry mouth and dry skin. You also may notice that your urine is dark yellow in color, that you are producing less urine than usual, or that you feel constipated. Other dehydration symptoms include excess hunger, weight gain, fatigue, headaches, and even joint pain. Water is necessary to keep all of your body’s systems functioning properly, so without it, sickness and disease are just on the horizon.

Water and Diet

If you’re trying to live a healthier lifestyle, water should be one of your very best friends. It can be difficult for the mind and body to distinguish between hunger and thirst at times, so you may be able to ward off a snack craving by simply drinking a glass of water instead. Studies show that people who drink a glass of water before meals tend to eat fewer calories at meals. Meanwhile, water aids digestion and keeps the kidneys functioning properly too.

Photo credit: Ana Ulin via Flickr

Easy Ways to Drink More Water

Water may not be the most exciting beverage in the world to sip throughout the day, but it is the most important one. One of the easiest ways to drink more water is to add a piece or two of fresh fruit, such as lemon or cucumber, to your water to give it some flavor without adding sugar or calories. So that you’re not without water at any time of the day, carry a refillable bottle with you to work, school, while traveling, and when you run errands.

It’s best to drink small amounts of water all throughout the day rather than gulping down a couple glasses all at once. These days, there are smartphone apps, such as Daily Water Drink Reminder, and even high-tech water bottles to help remind you to drink more too. Finally, water can be consumed through food as well, so make sure to include plenty of water-rich foods in your meals, such as grapefruit, zucchini, and watermelon.

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