You know that old adage about drinking 8 glasses of water a day? Turns out it isn't as simple as that. While hydration is an essential aspect of health with benefits ranging from more youthful-looking skin, better digestion, more energy, and weight maintenance to a healthier heart and kidneys, the amount of water you should drink cannot really be standardised. It depends on a number of factors, including age, activity levels, body weight, gender and external environment.
Also read: How to hydrate your skin, inside out
According to a February 12 article published in the science and technology magazine, Science Focus, the best way to gauge if you need to drink water is this: counting the number of trips to the bathroom. “A rough rule of thumb would be four to six visits to the toilet to pee during a typical day if adequately meeting your water requirements,” said Dr Stuart Galloway, an associate professor in physiology, exercise and nutrition at the University of Stirling to Science Focus. He also pointed out that this method has some shortcomings as it does not take into account age-related alteration in kidney function or the effect of medication or beverages, all of which impact urine concentration and volume.
Another option is to use a hydration calculator like this one to calculate approximately how much water you should drink. And yes, evaluating the colour of your urine could also help: too light and you are likely to be over-hydrating, too dark and you may need to amp up your water intake as this chart points out.
With summer around the corner, you need to be more careful of your hydration as dehydration is common in this season, often leading to dizziness, nausea, fatigue and even, in serious cases, a heat stroke. Here are some easy tips to stay hydrated this summer.