We all need to drink water to stay hydrated and healthy. But how do I know if I’m drinking enough? I know some people who have no trouble drinking enough water. But I’m not one of them. I just don’t seem to get thirsty, especially if I’m involved in a project. I can go all day on a cup of coffee. This is particularly bad since the summer heat has returned to Georgia.
I’m losing weight, too, and have a bit of detox going from chemo, so I need even more than normal. How do I figure out how much water I need to drink each day? Doctors used to recommend eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. But does someone who weighs 120 pounds and is active need the same amount of water as someone who weighs 220 and is sedentary?
The new formula is to take your weight and divide it in half to get the ounces of water you need to drink each day. So if you weigh 200 pounds, divide by two. This gives you 100. So you need to drink 100 ounces of water each day if you weigh 200 pounds. (http://www.pbs.org/americaswalking/fuel/fueldrinking.html)
When you exercise, you need more water. The recommendation is eight ounces for every 15 minutes of exercise. Of course, if you’re exercising out in the summer heat, you will need more than that. If you drink smaller amounts more often, you won’t get that sloshing, too full feeling. I like to take a water bottle with me to work out and just take a sip every now and then, instead of drinking half the bottle at a time. (http://www.pbs.org/americaswalking/fuel/fueldrinking.html
Other things which will affect how much water you need include climate, breastfeeding, pregnancy, and illness. Fever, bladder infections, urinary tract stones and constipation require an increase in water intake.(http://www.health24.com/Diet-and-nutrition/Beverages/Factors-that-influence-water-needs-20120721)
If you have kidney problems, heart problems, or liver problems, consult your doctor. These conditions may require you to restrict your fluid intake.
There is one easy way to tell if you’re getting enough water. Check the color of your urine. If it is clear, or nearly clear, you’re drinking plenty. But if it is a darker yellow color, grab a glass and start drinking. The darker it is, the more dehydrated you are. http://www.caloriesperhour.com/tutorial_water.php
So how much water do you need to drink in a day? Start with at least eight 8-ounce glasses. Divide your weigh in half to get the number of ounces you should aim for. Factor in your exercise, your climate, and any health issues which would affect your water intake. Don’t try to drink it all at once. Space it out during your day.
A good online resource I found to help with all the particulars is http://nutrition.about.com/library/blwatercalculator.htm Just follow the link, answer the questions and they’ll give you the answer.
So, have you had enough water today?