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How Much Water Should You Really Be Drinking?

“You are what you eat.” That’s how the saying goes, right? Well, your body is actually made up of mostly water. Yep, you read that correctly. No matter how many donuts you consumed for breakfast this morning, your body is still made up of mostly water. You’re in luck!
To break things down a little further, males are made up of about 60% water and females are about 55%. Additionally, babies are born at about 78% water, while older people tend to be less than 50%. So where does all of this water reside, you may ask? Well, let’s go ahead and break that down as well.
Percentages of water in various body parts:

  • Blood: 92%
  • Lungs: 83%
  • Muscles & Kidneys: 79%
  • Heart & Brain: 73%
  • Skin: 64%
  • Bones: 31%

With water being such a prominent component of our bodily functions, we must be sure to provide it with the right amount. How do you discover just how much water your body needs? Well, let’s find out!
Know Your Body, Know Your Numbers
As you go through the everyday motions of life, such as using the restroom, perspiring, and even breathing, your body is losing water. In order to keep your body functioning properly, replenishing your body with foods and drinks that contain water is of the utmost importance. However, drinking too much water can also be harmful to your body. Because of the varying factors that can affect your necessary water intake, it is important to understand how much water YOUR body needs each day.
Although the eight, 8-oz. glasses of water rule is a good starting point for your daily water intake, it isn’t always accurate. In other words, according to the Cleveland Clinic, there is no one-size-fits-all recommendation for daily water intake. How much water you need on a daily basis differs from person to person and is highly dependent on various factors such as:

  • How much you weigh (a heavier person needs more water)
  • Your activity level
  • Your metabolism
  • Your geographical region (people who live in hot, dry climates need more water)
  • Your diet (how much water are you getting from the foods that you eat)
  • Your health (some medications and conditions can increase the amount of water your body needs)

An Update to the Eight, 8- oz. Glass Rule
Per the Mayo Clinic, when accurately monitoring whether or not you are drinking enough water, one should pay attention to their urine. If your urine is light yellow or colorless, you’re on the right track — keep it up! If your urine is dark yellow, grab that water and start chugging!
You should also pay attention to how often you find yourself feeling thirsty throughout the day and adjust accordingly. Additionally, if you’re one of those people who simply doesn’t like water, try getting into soups, smoothies, or high water content fruits and vegetables.
When Does Dehydration Occur
If you do not provide your body with the amount of water it needs to function properly, it will begin to react. Studies show that your body reacts to as little as 1% dehydration, affecting your mood, attention, memory, and motor coordination. Once you’ve hit 2-3% dehydration, you might feel thirsty and possibly experience some other symptoms:

  • Fatigue, lethargy
  • Irritability
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Dry mouth and skin
  • Muscle cramps
  • Rapid pulse
  • Fever and chills

When to See A Health Professional
If you or someone you know is feeling the effects of dehydration, visit one of our many First Care Clinic locations. Our staff is dedicated to bringing you the highest quality care in the timeliest of manners, so you can get on your way to feeling hydrated and healthy again. Contact us today or visit our website to find a location near you.