There is a simple equation you can use to answer that question. In order for your body to function at its best you have to keep it hydrated to the optimal level. That means you should be drinking enough ounces of water per day to equal half of your body’s weight in pounds! So, if you are 100 lbs, you need to drink 50 ounces of water a day, which is almost a half gallon! If you are 200 lbs, you need almost a gallon a day! You need to also account for and replace the water used up during physical activities. For every 30 min of exercise you do, you need to drink at least an extra glass of water (8 oz.). Also, coffee, tea, fruit juice, soda and alcohol, are actually dehydrating. You need to drink additional water to replace what you drank ounce for ounce.
You might be saying to yourself, “I don’t drink near that much water and I’m fine!” True, you wont die from not drinking this much water. BUT you could be living a lot better! Surviving does not mean thriving!
By the time you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated! If you ignore feeling thirsty for too long your body will start to make you feel hungry, so it can get water from the food you eat. This confusion between thirst and hunger can easily lead to over-eating and excess weight gain.
You may be dehydrated and not even know it because it feels normal.
Symptoms of dehydration include:
Little or no urine or urine that is dark yellow
Decreased brain function in general alertness, coordination and memory, etc.
Sleepiness or fatigue
Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
Not sweating while exercising or tearing while crying
If you experience any of these things regularly, you probably need a lot more water!