What color is your urine??
We'll get to the title question soon - but let's start with this.....
Do you drink enough water?
Each of the cells in our body is made primarily of water, and almost 60% of our total body weight is water, so it makes sense that we need to drink some every day.
We all heard in 4th grade health class that we should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day. (Thank you, Mrs. Carter).
"By the time you feel thirsty, most people are already beginning to be dehydrated"
As a baseline, most experts suggest 60-80 ounces of fluids every day for healthy adults.
If you are sweating outside on a hot day, you will need more water.
Or if you have an illness that is causing vomiting, diarrhea, or fever, you will need more fluids. (Talk to your healthcare provider if you have kidney or heart disease— you may be asked to restrict your fluid intake.)
Plain water is best to stay hydrated, but be especially careful with liquids that contain sugar, caffeine, or alcohol. All of these substances can have a diuretic effect— meaning you will lose more water when you urinate, and not get the hydration benefits you were hoping for.
Sports drinks often contain sugar, sodium, and other electrolytes and are useful to replenish energy and electrolytes lost in vigorous activity. These should be used sparingly along with plenty of water during sports competition or other strenuous outdoor activities.
Check your hydration level by the color of your urine!
When you are well hydrated, you urine should be clear to light yellow. If it gets darker than than, you probably need more fluids.
When you stay well hydrated, your skin will look better and your kidneys will be able to flush excess sodium and toxins from the body much more efficiently. Blood sugar and blood pressure may even improve a bit.
So drink up! Just remember to stop an hour or so before bedtime.
Beverly J. Howard, PhD, RN, FNP-BC