If not, you are like the other 75% of Americans who are chronically dehydrated.
On average, the human body is 60% water.
Of this, 80% of the brain, 75% of the muscles and 92% of blood is made up of water.
With these numbers, it is no surprise that a lack of water can have a dramatic impact on your most important bodily functions.
How much should you drink?
The common rule is to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, but where did this number come from?
For every 1 calorie our body consumes/loses, we require 1 milliliter of water.
In other words, at least 1 liter of water is required for every 1000 calories used. Most adults use about 2000 calories just to stay alive.
If you do the calculations this equates to about 68 ounces or 8.5 eight ounce cups. However, it is important to remember that this is an average minimum that doesn’t account for weight, diet, or activity level.
If you are not sure how many calories you are consuming daily, an easier rule of thumb is to drink, at the minimum, the ounces of water equal to your weight divided by 2 (ie: 100 pounds = 50 oz of water to stay hydrated).
Also, a simple test to see if you are hydrated is the urine test. When hydrated you should be urinating at least 4x a day and the color should be colorless to pale yellow (does not account for changes in urine color due to increased B vitamins, foods, medications etc.)
Do I have to drink only water to stay hydrated?
Short answer: No. Any beverage or food containing water contributes to your level of hydration.
However, the macronutrients in your beverage or food must be considered when calculating your daily intake of water. For example, if you are drinking a beverage that contains sugar you are not receiving as much water per volume. If you are drinking a caffeinated drink, you may be expelling more water than you are consuming.
Staying hydrated is essential to staying healthy. Not only does it aid in the natural detoxing process of our bodies, but it helps to keep us alert, to maintain our metabolism and can reduce the risk of developing more serious chronic diseases.