Drinking enough fluids, especially in the heat of the summer, is very important. However, many people do not drink enough water throughout the day every day of the year. If you are thirsty, you may already be dehydrated.
Drinking enough water is so important for bodily functions, as our cells, tissue and organs depend on an adequate fluid supply. We also need water to help remove toxins in the body through sweat, urine and feces. If you are frequently constipated, drinking more water may help.
As a dietitian, I always recommend people drink at least 64 ounces of water daily, which equates to about 8 cups, but the amount of water you need depends on your size, activity level and climate.
A good way to check to see if you are hydrated enough is to look at the color of your urine. If it is pale yellow, you are well hydrated; if it is darker yellow or orange, go ahead and drink a few glasses of water.
Also, you may consider buying a reusable water bottle to have on hand and in plain view at all times. A bottle that has ounces labeled on it may be helpful so that you can track how much you are drinking daily. It can take time to develop a good water-drinking habit, and that is okay.
If water is too bland for you, try adding some citrus like lemon, lime or orange to provide more flavor and added vitamin C!
Remember, many foods are also made up of mostly water, just like our own bodies, so look to consume lots of fruits and vegetables each day like melons, oranges, grapefruit, cucumbers, lettuce and tomatoes, to name a few.
Bridgette Bostic, R.D.N. is the community nutrition educator in the Tevis Center for Wellness. Check out her weekly online cooking class, Healthy Bites with Bridgette!