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Are You Drinking Enough Water? How to Really Tell

General recommendations are just that: general. How do you know the right amount of water for YOU?

You’ve probably heard the advice that you should be drinking eight cups of water a day, but how true is that really? Well, it all depends on things like how hot it is outside, how active you are (all that sweat depletes your body’s water levels, electrolytes and other good stuff), or if you’re feeling under the weather.

What makes proper hydration even more confusing is that you don’t always feel thirsty if you aren’t drinking enough (although thirst is the most common warning sign you need to start sipping). That’s why it’s so important to know the not-so-obvious signs of needing to take in more water. If you notice you don’t have to pee very often, your pee is dark (you want it to be kind of straw-colored), or you have headaches, you might not be drinking enough. Even things like dry skin or breathing more quickly than usual could indicate you should hit the water fountain more frequently.

If those symptoms sound familiar, try dialing up your H20 intake. Drink more water throughout the day (make yourself have a full glass at each meal and snack) and eat more hydrating foods (many vegetables, like celery and lettuce, and fruit are good sources of water, as are liquid foods like soups and smoothies). And if you’re exercising outside this summer, tote a water bottle along. You’ll want to drink three to eight ounces every 15 or 20 minutes. One smart way to fill that water bottle? Use a sports drink mix like Emergen-C Hydration+ (it has electrolytes, which you need to replace when you’ve been sweating or working out).


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