Should You Be Drinking More Water?
The human body is comprised of about 50-75% water, with some organs containing more water than others. If you have psoriasis, making sure you are well hydrated can help keep moisture in your skin and prevent flare ups, as dry, brittle skin is a common sign of dehydration. But how do you find the right balance of hydration? How much is enough and how much is too much?
Is There a Magic Number?
There is much controversy over how much water a person should drink each day. Many people suggest drinking at least eight glasses of water, while others think that the food you eat already contains water and you shouldn’t drink any more unless you are thirsty, to avoid over hydration. Others have recommendations based on gender: nine cups of water daily for women and 13 for men.
Really, there is no magic number that suits everyone. The amount of water you need is based on a number of factors – including your body weight, how active you are, the climate where you live, the food you eat and more. Most North Americans (as many as 75% of us) don’t drink enough water, so you’re more likely to dehydrated rather than over hydrated.
Signs of Dehydration
Rather than drinking a certain number of cups of water daily, try to understand your body – it usually tells you when you need more water. Typical signs of dehydration include dry mouth, fatigue, recurrent headaches, feeling irritable, dark urine, dry skin, and feeling bloated and constipated. Not sure if you need more water? Try these tests:
- Urine test – Most health experts suggest that the urine test may be a better way to tell if you’re drinking enough water, rather than counting glasses of water. It’s easy to do: next time when you go to the washroom, check the color of your urine. If it is very light yellow or white, it means your body is well hydrated. If it is darker, you need to drink some more water. Note that the color of your urine may change based on the foods you eat, drugs or supplements you take, or if you suffer from certain medical conditions.
- Hunger test – Quite often we may feel hungry when in fact we are just dehydrated. Next time you feel hungry between meals, drink a cup of water. If you still feel hungry 15 minutes later, you need to eat, but chances are you will not. Drinking a cup of water before meals will also help you to eat less, which will help you lose weight.
Water helps to boost your energy, flush out toxins, and improve digestion, so why wouldn’t you want to drink more of it? Try drinking a couple of glasses of water in the morning, on an empty stomach to flush out toxins accumulated overnight and wake up – fatigue or exhaustion can often be just dehydration in disguise. Avoid carbonated sweetened juices - pure, filtered water is the best. If you don’t enjoy the taste of water, try adding some lemon or cucumber. If you can’t stand the thought of drinking more water, other healthy fluid choices include coconut water and unsweetened green tea.