5 ways to know if you are drinking enough water



    If you don’t drink enough water, you will notice some signs. We tell you how to know if you are drinking enough water or you are dehydrated.

    Drinking water is the best way to quench thirst, but it does more than that. It is essential for our health, as it is a key ingredient in keeping our organs functioning properly. It helps in maintaining body temperature, removing waste or toxins and delivering nutrients to different body parts. That’s why we are repeatedly told to drink about eight glasses of water every day. If not plain water, you may be eating fruits or vegetables high in water content. You may be also having fluids such as coconut water or fruit juices. Does that mean you are drinking enough water? If you are not then you will spot the signs of dehydration. Similarly, there are ways to know if you are drinking enough water. We tell you how.

    How much water should you drink in a day?

    Determining the appropriate daily water intake is essential for maintaining optimal health. The amount varies based on individual factors, but a general guideline is to consume about 240 milliliters of water eight times a day, totaling approximately 1.9 liters, says dietitian Sethulekshmi. However, this serves as a baseline, and individual needs may differ.

    Drinking enough water is essential for your health. Image courtesy: Adobe stock

    Factors influencing water requirements include –

    • Weight
    • Physical activity
    • Climate
    • Overall health

    What are the health benefits of drinking water?

    There are many benefits of drinking water –

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    1. Maintaining body fluid balance

    Water, constituting about 60 percent of the body, plays a vital role in bodily functions like digestion, circulation, nutrient transportation, and temperature regulation. Adequate hydration ensures the balance of essential bodily fluids, says the expert.

    2. Controlling calories

    Water serves as a calorie-free alternative to sugary beverages. Drinking water before meals can create a sense of fullness, potentially reducing overall calorie intake and supporting weight management.

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    3. Energising muscles

    Proper fluid balance is crucial for muscle function. Dehydration can lead to muscle fatigue and diminished endurance during physical activities. Staying hydrated helps maintain muscle energy and performance.

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    4. Preserving skin health

    The skin contains a significant amount of water, acting as a protective barrier against fluid loss. Adequate hydration helps keep the skin moisturised, maintaining elasticity and a healthy appearance.

    5. Supporting normal bowel function

    Hydration is essential for proper gastrointestinal function, says Sethulekshmi. It prevents constipation by ensuring the smooth flow of waste through the digestive tract. In dehydration, the colon extracts water from stools, leading to constipation.

    6. Transporting waste products

    Body fluids, primarily water, facilitate the transportation of waste products, including blood urea nitrogen, out of cells. Hydration supports the kidneys in excreting these waste products through urine.

    What are the ways to know you are drinking enough water?

    Headache is a sign of dehydration, says the expert. Inadequate water intake affects blood volume and cerebrospinal fluid, contributing to headaches. Also, persistent bad breath due to dehydration may indicate that you need to drink more water.

    Here are signs to know you are hydrated –

    1. Frequency of urination

    Regular urination is a positive indicator of hydration, says Sethulekshmi. Dehydration may lead to infrequent urination as the body conserves water.

    Woman drinking water
    If you drink enough water, you will pee more frequently. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock


    2. Thirst sensation

    Thirst serves as a natural mechanism signaling the need for fluid replenishment. Intensified thirst may indicate dehydration due to insufficient water intake or excessive fluid loss.

    3. Skin and lip condition

    Hydrated skin appears moist and elastic. Dry lips and skin can signal dehydration, indicating a lack of sufficient water to maintain skin health.

    4. Energy level

    Dehydration reduces blood volume, diminishing oxygen and nutrient delivery to tissues. This can result in fatigue as the body’s energy production is hampered.

    5. Urine colour

    Monitoring urine colour provides insight into hydration status, says the expert. Pale yellow to straw-coloured urine suggests adequate hydration, while dark yellow or amber-coloured urine indicates dehydration and the need for increased fluid consumption.

    Water is vital for health, but excessive consumption can lead to water poisoning or hyponatremia. This condition arises when there is an imbalance of water and sodium in the body. Overhydration causes cells, including brain cells, to swell, resulting in confusion, drowsiness, headaches, hypertension, and a low heart rate, says the expert.

    So, strike a balance and avoid drinking more water than your body requires to maintain optimal health.

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