Your body is mostly made up of water. In fact water accounts for approximately 60% of your body weight. You cannot survive long without water, and in the scorching summer heat even mild dehydration can make you feel light headed and irritable and in some cases even give you a blinding headache. There are so many preconceived notions when it comes to the how, when and why you should drink water that the knowledgeable experts at AAA Water Team have provided the following information about hydration myths along with valuable tips to staying healthy and hydrated with a glass of h20.
The Five Most Common Water & Dehydration Myths
1. You should drink at least eight glasses of water a day – The truth is that the needs of one individual can be more or less than 8 glasses and that amount can change on a daily basis. Factors that can affect the amount of water you need include your body mass index, weight, daily activities and food sources. How do you know what is the right amount for you? It’s really quite simple; drink enough to satisfy your thirst. If you are sweating more because you are working out harder than usual at the gym or you are working in the yard and it’s ninety degrees in the shade, you will want to drink more water
2. If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated – Thirst is triggered by a decrease in your body’s water content and normal levels of thirst develop when your body water drops by 2-4%. Dehydration becomes problematic when you exceed a 5-8% reduction in body water which causes fatigue and dizziness. If you feel thirsty, reach for a glass of water before dehydration sets in. The American Council on Exercise’s guidelines recommends about a glass of water for every 10 to 20 minutes of strenuous activity to stay properly hydrated.
3. Sports drinks are the best thing to drink after exercise – While it can be said that sports drinks contain electrolytes that help your body replace fluid lost as a result of sweating. Many of these products are only beneficial if you are a serious athlete who has been working at a strenuous activity level for a long period of time. If you are exercising in an air conditioned gym, or running at a leisurely pace you will be better served by reaching for a refreshing glass of water instead
4. Water flushes out toxins from within your body – This is one of the most common misconceptions regarding water intake. Drinking enough water will ensure that your kidney and liver functions are working properly but won’t flush out the extra celebratory cocktail you had at last night’s family gathering. Drinking too much water can actually halt your body’s detoxification process by reducing the concentration of salt in your blood which can damage your kidneys and liver and prevent them from functioning properly.
5. Your urine must be clear – Pale yellow or straw colored urine is what you should be aiming for. Your kidneys produce urine by filtering out waste products from your blood into the urinary tract. If your body is low on its water supply it will only allow a small amount of water to exit with the waste products. Your urine will be darker which is telling you that you need to hydrate. If you are properly hydrated, your kidneys will produce urine that is light yellow in color which is exactly the color you should be aiming for to stay healthy.