How do I know I’m hydrated?

So we all know about the recommended daily intake of water.Somewhere around 8glasses of water. Their are a ton of websites and tons of information on how much and what kind of water you should drink.  Then you have the bottled water vs. tap water debate.

We all know the benefits of water.

The human body’s percentage of water is somewhere in the range of 65% or higher. I think I read an article that it can be as high as 78%. The take home message being that your body makeup is more than half water.

So it’s safe to say drinking water is good for the body.  Drinking more will definitely hydrate your body. As to how much and how often we won’t debate (at least not today on this post) Winking We also won’t even skim the surface on the debate of water vs. sports drinks either.

I wanted to talk about how to monitor or measure your body’s hydration. I want to share a quick-fast and easy way to determine if your currently hydrated and how to measure if your hydrating yourself adequately. Now this lil’ trick does not exist in a bubble and is in no way a substitute for true medical advice and medical analysis, but it’s an easy and inexpensive trick.

It’s really simple. Look at the color of your urine.  Is it dark or light? I really don’t care about the shade of yellow or amber, but more importantly how clear is it? Is it really dark or does is it almost take on the consistency of… uuhhmm I don’t know … water?

The more hydrated you are, the closer your urine will look like water. Pretty simple huh? How can you forget that one!?

Now there are some important facts to note while using this little trick:

  1. Let me reiterate this method does not exist in a bubble, there are a million other factors out there that can affect the color, smell and consistency of your urine.
  2. Yes diuretics and other popular drinks can and will give you the clear urine, but you may not be hydrated. So don’t expect to drink coffee, or tea and be hydrated. Some drinks like coffee and tea act like a diuretic and can inhibit a hormone in your body, therefore causing you to urinate more and more often.
  3. Just as what you drink affects your hydration, so do the foods you eat. Just imagine the amount of sodium content in a can of processed food.
  4. Yep your physical activity plays a HUGE role in your hydration, as well as how much you sweat. Everybody sweats differently. (I sweat standing in 30 degree weather and my wife doesn’t ever perspire until it’s almost 100!)
  5. Drinking more water will definitely make you pee more!!!! But trust me, barring you don’t have any pre-existing medical conditions, your  body will adapt and you won’t urinate quite as often.

This is great for determining your level of hydration as well as monitoring if your ‘becoming’ hydrated. Is all that water helping you hydrate? It also lets you know just  how dehydrated you really were.

So, how hydrated are you?

 

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8 Responses

  1. I laugh that I live in such a hot clime Im always peeking at my urine to see where I am hydrationwise…now my TODDLER peeks as well.

    oops 🙂

  2. @MizFit Heh heh Thanks for visiting

  3. How about electrolytes? I was in the USMC and found out first hand how just water alone isn’t enough – but this was in the context of buring 6000+ calories a day and drinking up to 13 quarts of water.

    I was interested in how a normal person accomodates for an appropriate amount of electrolyte intake – or if the normal amount of sodium in the day is generally enough?

  4. @Ken Unless you have an underlying medical condition you’re body will accomodate naturally for the flux in electrolytes. Of course you must take into consideration your activity level and food/caloric intake. Sodium is never a problem usually, especially with processed foods and most soft drinks.
    By the way HOOO RAH Devil Dog. Semper Fi, from a fellow former marine. 😉

  5. I’m a big fan of the urine test to measure my hyrdration levels. I usually stay pretty well hydrated (I carry a 500 ml bottle with me and refill it regularly) but sometimes in the morning my urine is a lot darker than usual. I do find that drinking more water does make you want to pee more. However, at work this acts as a very good mini-break allowing me to rest my eyes, have a short walk to stretch my legs and just get away from the work for a couple of minutes. It’s actually quite refreshing 😉

  6. @Tom A very positive way at thinking about your increased urination! I’m stealing that idea!

  7. Greetings,
    I agree with your analysis of the urine test. It’s simple and right there in front of us (guys). Your point #5 in the post above is actually very important. Drinking more water on a constant basis will get your body used to the availability of this primary biological element, and won’t try to retain so much. This is a good thing for helping your body remove toxins.
    As a new resident of Las Vegas, NV, proper hydration has become a major concern of mine. And with this, I’ve been studying alkaline ionized water. Learning that disease thrives in an acid body environment, I’m hoping to avoid disease with a diet of alkaline water. The ionization of water is supposed to make water better hydrating, as well.

    Larry

  8. Hey, nice tips. I’ll buy a bottle of beer to that man from that forum who told me to go to your blog 🙂

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