How Well Do You Know Hydration?By Mary Clifton, MD
Find out with our True/False quiz.
1. For optimum health, drink 8 glasses of water per day.
False. Though water is inexpensive, other liquids will also hydrate
individuals, and some infused liquids have even more antioxidant benefit
than water. Adults should strive for 6-8 glasses of water per day, according
to Institute of Medicine recommendations, but those who exercise or stay
active should add one additional 8 ounce glass of water for each half hour of
moderate of strenuous exertion.
2. Yellow urine is a sign of dehydration.
False. The concentration of waste products in the urine determines the
color, and it is impossible to absolutely correlate urinary color with hydration
status. Other factors, such as good nutrition or multivitamin administration,
can also lead to yellow urine.
3. Sports drinks are superior to water in athletics.
False. Sports drinks may have a higher concentration of some minerals and
vitamins, but they are also loaded with sugar or other artificial sweeteners or
colors. Water, and especially infused waters, along with a whole-goods,
plant-based diet is the single best way to transport nutrients and energy and
remove heat during strenuous exercise. After exertion of longer than 2 ½
hours, however, the addition of salt tablets or other mineral and electrolyte
supplementation may be appropriate.
4. Drinking water flushes toxins from your body.
True. Water doesn’t neutralize toxins, but the kidneys, which are responsible
for waste management, are not able to remove metabolic wastes properly
without adequate water.
5. Drinking water can help keep your skin looking dewy.
True. Severely or chronically dehydrated people will experience to changes
in the largest organ of the body, the skin. The moisture level of the skin is
determined by external factors, such as humidity in the air or exposures, but
the amount of oil produced oil glands and water available for hydrating the
skin cells is directly related to the diet and hydration.
6. It’s possible to drink too much water.
True. People with severe psychological disorders can sometimes over
hydrate and experience very low body sodium levels, which can lead to
confusion and even seizures. Certain medical conditions often require
treatment with fluid restriction, such as heart failure or kidney failure.
7. Drinking water helps you lose weight.
True. Water not only replaces empty calorie-loaded beverages like pop or
flavored coffees; it also will make you feel fuller. So, you may eat less at a
meal if you start the meal with a stomach shrinking glass of ice cold water.
Ice cold water also uses up calories to warm to body temperature in your
stomach – between 25-40 calories per chilly glass – and that adds up to 5
pounds per year with regular consumption.
8. If you’re thirsty, you are already dehydrated.
True. Thirst begins when the concentration of substances in the blood
increases just under 2%. While dehydration is formally diagnosed when total
body water is decreased by 5%, it is better to avoid mild dehydration and
drink before actually sensing thirst.
9. You should not reuse plastic water bottles.
True. Plastic water bottles should be avoided unless they are clearly BPA
free. The bottles contribute endocrine-disrupting plastics that lead to thyroid
disorders and sex hormone instability. They can also harbor bacteria if they
aren’t properly cleaned between uses.
How did you do?
8-9 correct: You’re a water superstar, an exceptionally well-hydrated person.
My work here is done.
6-7 correct: You might need a little help keeping yourself hydrated. Try
infusing pure water to stay hydrated using the recipes posted here.
5 or less correct: Bummer. I hate getting a low score. The good news: better
hydration is easy and simple. Talk to your Director today for tips.Posted on by Mary Clifton, MD