Studies show most Americans are dehydrated

 
By Dahlia Ghabour • Published: April 14th, 2015
Category: Health in a Heartbeat
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Are you drinking enough water and fluid per day? Studies show that the answer is probably no. Up to three-fourths of Americans drink well below the recommended levels. According to the Institute of Medicine, men are advised to drink 13 ounces of fluid, while women require nine ounces per day.

Over time, chronic dehydration can lead to many complications, such as fatigue, joint pain, headaches, ulcers and high blood pressure.

If the human body is a machine, then water is the oil that keeps it running. The body is made up of 60 percent water, so staying hydrated can help muscles work more efficiently. It can also help your kidneys and liver function and ensures that nutrients get digested. Proper hydration is also great for the general health of your hair, skin and immune system. It’s one of the simplest, most straightforward treatments for many common ailments.

Although there are basic recommendations for how much fluid to drink, the amount of water each person needs varies depending on climate and exercise intensity. The more you sweat, the more you need to drink — for every pound of sweat lost, rehydrate by drinking at least a pint of water.

Many people think that if they feel weak, tired or suffer from headaches they need to eat. More likely, water is the solution — and remember, if you’re thirsty, your body is already complaining. You’re already dehydrated.

The easiest thing to do is pay attention to the color of urine. Pale and clear is the goal. If it’s dark, drink more fluids.

Water is the best thing to drink to stay hydrated, but fruits and vegetables also contain a high percentage of water. For those who dislike the taste of water, try adding a slice of lemon or cucumber to the mix. And carrying a refillable bottle is a great way to make sure water is always accessible.