How Much Water Should You Be Drinking?
Well, that all depends; it’s not quite so cut and dry as prescribing one magical number of ounces of water for everyone. You should factor in your physical size and how active you are on a given day to help determine how much water you should be taking in.
How Active Are You Today?
Your activity level needs to be considered daily when calculating how many ounces of water you’re drinking. The more you exert yourself , the more water you’ll need to take in to compensate for the loss through sweating. Even an overly stressful day and/or excessive crying, will require you to drink more water.
How To Calculate Your Magical Number?
Divide your current weight by 2. The result is the number of ounces you should be drinking daily. So, for example, if you weigh 140 lbs., and divide by 2, we get 70. You should be drinking 70 oz (about 9 glasses) of water per day.
Why Do We Need Water?
Why do we need water? Water helps us maintain our body temp., helps to create healthy & supple skin, transports nutrients throughout the body, lubricates our joints, promotes healthy digestion, energizes our muscles, helps to make us feel full so we don’t over eat, helps us to eliminate toxic waste through our kidneys and gastrointestinal tracts.
Even mild to moderate dehydration can cause significant and obvious concerns. Action should be taken immediately in order to prevent severe dehydration, which can be life threatening.
Signs of mild to moderate dehydration:
- increased thirst
- dry mouth
- tired or sleepy
- decreased urine output, and urine is more yellow than usual
- dry skin
- few or no tears
Home treatment for mild to moderate dehydration:
- Sip small amounts of water.
- Drink carbohydrate/electrolyte-containing drinks. Good choices are sports drinks such as Gatorade or prepared replacement solutions (Pedialyte is one example).
- Suck on popsicles made from juices and sports drinks.
- Suck on ice chips.
- Sip through a straw.
If the person has had heat exposure or has a fever:
- Remove any excess clothing and loosen other clothing
- Air-conditioned areas are best for helping return the affected individual’s body temperature to normal and break the heat exposure cycle.
- If air-conditioning is not available, increase cooling by evaporation by placing the person near fans or in the shade, if outside. Place a wet towel around the person.
- If available, use a spray bottle or misters to spray tepid (luke-warm) water on exposed skin surfaces to help with cooling by evaporation.
- Avoid exposing skin to excessive cold, such as ice packs or ice water. This can cause the blood vessels in the skin to constrict and will decrease, rather than increase heat loss. Exposure to excessive cold can also cause shivering, which will increase body temperature, this may cause the dehydration symptoms to become worse.
Signs of severe dehydration:
- little to no urine output, urine is very dark yellow to amber in color
- dizziness and/or lightheaded to the degree that you cannot stand or walk normally
- drop in blood pressure when going from lying position to standing
- rapid heart rate
- very poor skin elasticity
- lethargy, confusion, coma
When to call your doctor:
- Increased or constant vomiting for more than a day
- Fever over 101 F (38.3 C), but less than 103 F (39.4)
- Diarrhea for more than 2 days
- Weight loss
- Decreased urine production
When to seek emergency care:
- Fever higher than 103 F (39.4)
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest or abdominal pain
- No urine in the last 12 hours
Hate water? Try adding some fresh fruit to your water. My favorites are sliced lemons or cucumber.
Filtered tap water is probably the best and most economical kind of water to drink. Filtering eliminates all the crud you don’t need, while keeping the natural minerals you do need.
Water Water Water