Talking Water: Facts and Tips on Staying Hydrated | STACK

Talking Water: Facts and Tips on Staying Hydrated

June 27, 2012

Did you know that the human body consists of 60 to 70 percent water? Our water levels affect everything from energy level to temperature regulation to muscle mass.

Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of Americans don’t get the water they need. Most reports state the average American drinks less than 40 ounces of water daily, but most of the clients I see drink only one or two eight-ounce glasses a day. Many Americans are chronically dehydrated and experience headaches, lower energy levels, weakness and muscle cramps.

So how much water should you consume? Poll a group of experts, and you’ll get a lot of conflicting recommendations. Some say drink half your body weight in water; others recommend eight glasses a day. You can find your magic number by monitoring your urine output. The darker the color, the more dehydrated you are (see urine chart below).

Ideally, your urine will be the color of lemonade. If you see an apple-juice tint, drink water immediately. A neon yellow tint is a sign of excreted nutrients, which are probably coming from a multi-vitamin or over-the-counter supplement. If you see any hint of red, consult with your doctor immediately.

To most people, we always recommend drinking more water immediately. We would love for everyone to consume eight to ten eight-ounce glasses of water daily, but that’s extremely difficult for many people. Begin your lifestyle modification with baby steps. Record the number of ounces you’re currently consuming. If you’re below the recommended amount, add one or two glasses a day. You may feel bloated, but remember that you’ve deprived your body of its most essential nutrient for some time.

Start your new habit by following these seven tips every day.

1. Carry a water bottle to help track your progress.

2. Try flavoring your water with strawberries, lemons, limes, cucumbers or fruit that you enjoy.

3. Place a glass of water by your bed stand and drink it as soon as you wake up.


4. Roughly 20 percent of our water intake comes from food, so eat more hydrating foods like apples (86 percent water), cantaloupe (90 percent), pickles (92 percent), squash (94 percent), carrots (88 percent), broccoli (89 percent) and watermelon (92 percent).

5. Try to drink one glass of water before you work out.

6. Drink before you get thirsty. The moment your body registers dehydration, it has lost two percent of its total body weight. That's four pounds of water for a 200-pound person.

7. Make water your main source of hydration. If you chug sports drinks all day, you’re adding unwanted calories from sugar that add to your waistline.


Water Urine Chart

Chris Hitchko
- Chris Hitchko, CSCS, owns ShowUp Fitness, a personal training facility with locations in Santa Monica and the San Francisco Bay area. He is also an...
Chris Hitchko
- Chris Hitchko, CSCS, owns ShowUp Fitness, a personal training facility with locations in Santa Monica and the San Francisco Bay area. He is also an...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Cutting Weight for Wrestling: 3-Step Sodium Strategy

Moral of the story: Total sodium intake is not as important as relative sodium intake when it comes to manipulating wrestling weight. Sodium is...

4 Hydration Rules for Football Players

Too Much of a Good Thing: The Danger of Over-Hydration

Chocolate Milk after Workouts

Living the #JugLife: Javale McGee Wants You to Drink More Water

Will This Edible Blob Replace Your Water Bottle?

How to Schedule Your Hydration

Not Just for Drinking: Use Water to Avoid Getting Sick

Healthy Hydration for Track & Field Athletes

How Much Water Should Athletes Drink Every Day?

Ask the Experts: Am I Drinking Too Much Water?

Compare 3 of the Most Popular Hydration Backpacks

Benefits of Coconut Water for Athletes

Winter Dehydration: Are You At Risk?

Weight Loss and Other Benefits of Staying Hydrated

Best Pre-Workout Energy Drink? You May Be Pleasantly Surprised!

Staying Hydrated for Basketball

Opinion: Your Post-Workout Recovery Nutrition Should Be Liquid

This Ebola Treatment Sounds a Lot Like Your Sports Drink

7 Rules for Keeping Hydrated

How to Stay Hydrated When It's Hot and Humid

Surviving Football Hell Week: A Nutrition Guide

6 Effective Drinks for Athletes

Avoid Dehydration During Your Next Hockey Game

Elements of Proper Hydration

An Athlete's Guide to Late-Summer Dehydration

Hydration Guidelines for Volleyball Players

Hydration Inside the Race Car

Why Pedialyte Is a Good Source of Hydration for Hockey Players

Beat the Heat During Training With These Hydration Strategies

Selecting Fluids to Enhance Soccer Performance

Hydration: Follow the Rules That Help Your Performance

Drinking for Sport Performance

4 Ways to Carry Backpack Hydration

Powerade Removes Controversial Ingredient

Beat the Heat: Hydrate with Lemon

12 Must-Know Hydration Rules for Athletes

Healthy Hydration for Hockey Players

Hydrate With...Pickle Juice?

I Hate Water: Healthy Alternatives to H2O

Electrolytes Explained

How to Hydrate With Food

Coconut Water Vs. Sports Drinks

BPA: Health Hazard In Your Water Bottle?