© Westend61 / GettyAre you drinking enough water? This is how to tell
Many of us need to drink up (water, that is) suggests a report by SodaStream. One fifth of British adults (21%) have been advised to increase their personal water intake for health and hydration reasons. But over a third do not take this advice.
It's likely that most people don't know how much fluid they should be consuming a day and this is part of the problem.
But thinking about arbitrary amounts isn't going to necessary help - our fluid needs can change a lot depending on the weather, our activity levels and what we've eaten.
Dr Dawn Harper points out that looking at the colour of your urine can tell you whether you need to drink more or less water. She has worked with SodaStream to produce a '50 Shades of Yellow' chart to help people understand the hydration warning signs.
"There is still a lot of confusion around recommended daily allowances for water and the amount of fluid your body requires depends on several variables including: ambient temperature, exercise levels and other fluid in foods you've eaten."
She reckons most of us don't take action until we find ourselves with a headache - by which time it's too late; we're already dehydrated.
© Provided by National magazine company ltd (Hearst UK)SodaStream
"By the time headaches develop, you are already significantly dehydrated. It's better to take action sooner by keeping an eye on urine colour. Your urine should consistently by the colour of shade 1 to 20 in our 50 shades of Yellow p ee chart. In extreme cases, dehydration can cause kidney problems, so if it's not the right colour, then act and get access to water."
Find drinking water boring or hate the taste? You're not alone, but there are things you can do to make it more interesting.
Dr Dawn says: "Always accompany every meal with a drink of water to ensure good habits are formed early. Try adding fresh fruit to tap or sparkling water, it instantly feels like a refreshing treat, getting over the issue of people, especially children, claiming they don't drink water as its boring".
Drinking water is the best choice because it delivers fluid without adding calories (or damaging your teeth) and it's readily available. But don't beat yourself up if you'd prefer a tea or coffee. Even though these drinks contain caffeine, in moderate amounts it shouldn't cause dehydration.
It's also worth pointing out that we get around 20% of our total water intake from foods. Foods with a high water content include fruit and vegetables (which can be up to 80% water), and soups and stews.
So next time you you visit the bathroom, take a peak at your urine. It could tell you quite a lot about your health.
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