June 23, 2022 marks National Hydration Day, a reminder to drink some extra water that day and every day. Your body needs water to function; every cell, tissue, and organ needs water to do its job. Water keeps our body temperatures regulated, cushions joints, and protects sensitive tissue.
The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is just under 16 cups per day for men and around 12 cups per day for women. You may have heard the advice to drink eight glasses of water a day; it’s easy to remember, and it’s a reasonable goal. Most healthy people can stay hydrated by drinking water and other fluids whenever they feel thirsty.
There are a few factors that may influence your water intake needs. If you exercise or do an activity that makes you sweat, you should have some extra water to cover the fluid loss. Drinking water before, during, and after a workout is beneficial. Humidity, heat, and high altitudes also increase hydration needs.
If you are sick, particularly if you have a fever, vomiting, or diarrhea, take extra care to stay hydrated. Drink more water or get advice from your health care provider about the best way to maintain healthy fluid levels. Your body needs proper hydration in order to get better.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding may also require you to drink extra water to stay hydrated; it’s most important to listen when your body tells you it’s thirsty.
It’s also important to remember that water isn’t the only way to stay hydrated. What you eat makes a difference; many fruits and vegetables, for example, watermelon and spinach, are great sources of water. Drinks such as milk and herbal teas are also primarily water and can help you meet your hydration goals.
You are on the right track if you rarely feel thirsty or if your urine is colorless or light yellow. To determine your specific hydration needs, contact your doctor or dietitian.
For more information about proper hydration, visit here or contact the Livingston County Department of Health at 585-243-7299. For specific questions regarding your hydration needs, reach out to your health care provider.
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