“You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him participate in synchronised diving.”
― Cuthbert Soup, Another Whole Nother Story
My sister recently told me she thinks I need to write a post on hydration. She reckons she forgets to drink. And then, instead of reaching for the water bottle, she eats. Her body tricks her into thinking it’s hungry, when really she needs liquid…
Maybe you can relate?
There are all sorts of calculations and recommendations out there about how much water you should be drinking. The one I seem to see bandied about the most is the old ‘eight glasses a day’ number.
And, we all know how important water is for our very survival. In fact, its so important that the human body can only survive without it for between 3 to 5 days. Not so very long, in the scheme off things, huh?
But, here’s the thing. There’s no actual evidence to suggest that we do need to consume eight glasses of water every day.
And, on top of that your specific needs will vary hugely compared to the next person’s. Consider all the variables – there’s age, gender, size (height and breadth!), how healthy you are, how fit and physically active you are. How much are you sweating?
Then factor in where you live – do you live in the tropics, or are you in northern Europe? Is it hot or cold. What’s the humidity like?
And then, on top of all these variables, there’s your diet. If you’re on the Autoimmune Protocol, or any sort of ancestral diet-type approach to eating, chances are you’re getting a fair amount of fluid from some of the foods you’re consuming. Think broccoli, cabbage and spinach. Not to mention all that bone broth!
It really is no surprise that people are confused as to how much they should be drinking to stay hydrated.
The general rule is: If you’re thirsty, drink!
The absolute best way I know of to tell if you should be drinking more is to make a habit of checking out the colour of your pee when you’re in the bathroom.
If it’s a pale straw colour, you’re fine. If it’s a deep yellow, you need to up your fluids.
And if, like me, you’re supplementing with B vitamins, it’s very natural for it to be fluro’ yellow.