By Cedrina Calder, M.D.
Do you ever wonder why you tend to get headaches or just feel like crap as the day progresses? Maybe it’s lack of sleep, maybe it’s stress, or maybe you just don’t drink enough water. I am going to go out on a limb and say that the average person walks around mildly dehydrated on a regular basis. Unfortunately, they don’t even know it. The fact of the matter is that water is essential. About 60% of the human body is water. Because of this, your body needs adequate amounts of water daily. Water helps lubricate joints, moisten the skin and mucous membranes, digest food, and remove waste. When you don’t drink enough of it, you are literally interfering with your body’s normal functions. Dehydration can also affect energy levels, brain function, and cause headaches. So, it’s not surprising that a person would feel like crap when they aren’t properly hydrated.
Water Does A Body Good
Water doesn’t just help you feel good. It helps you look good too. Skin cells thrive when they’re properly hydrated. This is why staying well hydrated is the best way to achieve clearer and firmer looking skin. And if you’re looking to shed some pounds, you better start making water a staple part of your diet. By boosting your metabolism and suppressing your appetite, drinking water promotes weight loss. In addition to weight loss, drinking water can help you achieve a slimmer waistline. When you’re dehydrated, your body reacts by retaining water. This causes bloating and puffiness. On the flip side, the more water you drink, the less your body retains. As a result, your body appears slimmer and tighter.
How Much Is Enough?
Right about now, you’re probably wondering how much water you should drink per day. Unfortunately, there’s no clear-cut answer for that. In fact, the amount of water your body needs varies depending on your size, activity level, and climate you live in. Other factors like kidney function and medications can also affect the amount you need. I suggest that you aim for a goal amount that is close to the daily fluid intake recommendation. Men should aim to drink about 1 gallon a day and women should aim to drink about ¾ gallon a day. One simple way to check if you’re adequately hydrated is by looking in the toilet bowl. Yes, seriously. The color of your urine is a great indicator. Clear with a tinge of yellow is what you should be aiming for.