With the end of the hot, summer months upon us, we must continue to drink water hydrating our bodies from head to toe. We need to consume adequate water intake each day regardless of the temperature outside, and we must try to drink water before we become thirsty. We start to feel thirsty when our bodies reach 1% dehydration (or a 1% loss of normal body weight) (NASM, 2013). According to the Mayo Clinic, healthy men and women residing in an environment with a moderate climate need about 3 liters/13 cups of water or about 2.2 liters/9 cups of water, respectively, each day. During intense exercise, adequate water consumption is especially critical and we must continue to drink water after our workout sessions to prevent severe dehydration.
The figure below reflects the urine color of healthy, hydrated individuals verses the urine color of severely dehydrated individuals. In general, lighter, lemonade-colored urine indicates normal levels of hydration and darker, apple juice-colored urine is indicative of dehydration.
If your urine color does not resemble a well-hydrated, optimal shade of yellow, do not rush to the ER just yet! Here are some important points to consider first:
- Large dosages of B-vitamins, beets, and artificial food coloring can discolor urine.
- Medications, such as diuretics, will regularly increase urine output and can lighten the color of urine.
- Protein supplements can regularly change the color of urine.
- Don’t be fooled by urine volume and color during rehydration stages! A dehydrated individual who drinks a large amount of water, larger than what his/her body can initially store, will release large volumes of clear urine, often perceiving he/she is hydrated while the individual may still be dehydrated.
Do YOU need to drink more water, but simply find it difficult to consume the recommended amount per day?
Apply the below tips to make sure you meet the daily recommended consumption and be healthy, hydrated, and more energetic all day, every day!
- Drink a glass of water when you wake up each morning – before your cup of coffee!
- Carry a water bottle with you throughout the day! Today, there are so many cute, trendy, and stylish reusable water bottles on the market, so pick up one and go! Just make sure the bottle is BPA-free!
- Spice up your water! Try adding lemon, lime, berries, mint, or ginger to water in a pitcher, store it inside the refrigerator overnight, and fill up your water bottle the next morning for a refreshing drink the next day!
- Add some fizz! Carbonated sodas are bad, but if you must, you can add just a splash of your favorite soda to create a touch of sweetness to your water. Or healthier alternatives include, “Cascade Ice” carbonated drinks (Visit http://www.cascadeicewater.com for more information about this healthier, guilt-free alternative) and/or purchasing a device to create your own healthier carbonated beverages (Visit your local Bed, Bath, and Beyond to pick up your own soda maker. To learn more about soda makers, visit http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/search/search.aspx/soda-makers/?sstr=soda+makers&grid=20&dim=1&nty=1&).
- Use an app! Download an application to your iPhone or Android to monitor your daily water intake and set timers to remind you to drink up! Install an application, such as Water Logged or Drinking Water on your smart phone today.
Hydrate! Eat Well!
Be Active! Be Healthy! Be YOU!
National Academy of Sports Medicine (2013). Date accessed August 16, 2013 doi: http://blog.nasm.org/nutrition/monitoring-hydration-levels/#more-929
Mayo Clinic (2013). Date accessed August 16, 2013 doi: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/water/NU00283