Healthy hydration

Maintaining proper hydration is key to having a healthy body.

Drinking water does amazing things for our bodies. Some examples are flushing toxins out, regulating body temperature, lubricating joints, and supporting proper digestion. Each person needs to drink 0.5 to 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight per day to ensure proper hydration. Dehydration is more common in older adults because they have smaller muscle mass and decreased sensitivity to thirst than younger adults.

If you weigh…    

You need at least

125 pounds

63 ounces of water

175 pounds

88 ounces of water

225 pounds

113 ounces of water

275 pounds

138 ounces of water

325 pounds

163 ounces of water

Symptoms of dehydration

It’s important to pay attention to your body and what it’s telling you. Being thirsty is often the first sign of mild dehydration. If you don’t get enough fluids, over time you might have headaches, fatigue, decreased urination, dark urine, constipation, sunken eyeballs, increased heart rate, and low blood pressure. If your urine is light yellow, you are probably getting enough liquids. If it is dark yellow and/or strong smelling, you might need to drink more water. Some medications might cause dark-colored urine. Visit with a medical professional about the side-effects of medications.

Tips for staying hydrated

  • Start your day with a glass of water.
  • Drink water throughout the day.
  • Have a glass of water before each meal.
  • Set reminders on your phone or calendar to drink water.
  • Use a refillable water bottle. It costs less than bottled water and is environmentally friendly.
  • Know how many ounces your water bottle holds and how many times you need to refill it each day to meet your goal.
  • Keep water with you at all times. It will help remind you to drink it.
  • Drink water instead of sugary and/or caffeinated drinks such as juice, soda, tea, or coffee.

Challenge yourself

If you’re not already reaching your recommended amount of water based on the chart above, make a personal goal outlining how you’re going to work toward getting there. Even if it’s drinking one more glass per day, we all have to start somewhere!

These simple tips are meant to provide general recommendations on how to incorporate healthier hydration options into your diet. If you would like to learn more about healthy eating and wellness, visit Michigan State University Extension. MSU Extension offers various educational programs for adults, families, and children that focus on lifestyle changes to promote healthy eating and wellness. 

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