How Do I Reach Optimum Levels of Hydration for my Body?
Several resources use the 8×8 Rule: 8 glasses of 8 ounces of water everyday which equals to 64 ounces. That, of course, is easier said than done. I achieve optimum levels of hydration by making sure I am always within a arms reach from a water bottle, or my trusted Hydroflask.
What about differences in body weight, age, activity level, pregnancy/breast feeding status?
Daily water intake recommendation varies across the board when considering these factors. Some say to use thirst as our guide on when to drink water, however, when thirst kicks in, your body has already lost 1-2% of its total water content, putting your body in early stages of dehydration. 65-70% of our body is water, so to allow our bodies to reach levels of dehydration can compromise our body’s ability to maintain homeostasis via compromising proper regulation of body temperature, waste removal or detoxification, blood circulation, and organ function.
Instead, others recommend taking your body weight and multiplying by ½ to 2/3. For example, for someone who weighs 100 pounds, they would have to consume at least 50 to 67 ounces of water per day. For active individuals, it is recommended to drink an extra 8 ounces of every 30 minutes of exercise you perform. If pregnant, one should drink 50% more than their usual recommended intake and about 32 ounces on top of that if breast feeding.
Many of these recommendations vary and are questionable one way or another. Personally, as a healthcare professional and avid exerciser, I simply use the color of my urine to tell me how much water I need to drink. Your urine can range in color from almost clear (hydrated) to dark orange or yellow (uber-dehydrated), so when I start to see a yellowish hue in my urine, I immediately up my water intake.
What can you do to help you achieve your daily recommended water intake?