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Are you drinking enough water?

Most people are familiar with the standard of eight 8 ounce glasses of water per day, but is this an adequate amount for everyone? As most things that have to do with health the answer to this of course varies from person to person as everyone's needs are different. An athlete who sweats a lot during the day typically needs more water than someone who exerts little energy throughout their day.  Physical activity, diet, habits like smoking and even the weather all have an effect on how much water one may need to keep their body well hydrated.

Our bodies are made up of about 60% water, and there are various heath defects that can arise if we are inadequately hydrated. Minor things like dry skin and bad breath may be side effects of dehydration. On the moderate side constipation can occur, as well as muscle cramps. Severe dehydration can lead to decreased brain mass as well as function!  The brain is about 73% water and staying hydrated is essential to keeping your brain functioning properly. 

With that being said, how should you know the amount of water to sustain hydration in your own body? Some people suggest to only drink when you are thirsty but I personally worry that that may not suffice. It is hard to choose an exact amount of water for someone to consume daily without knowing their daily activities; so there are a few ways you can check on your body's hydration yourself.

One way to test your body's hydration on your own is to gently pull on about a half inch of skin located on the back of your wrist. If the skin stays up for a few seconds then slowly goes back to normal, that is usually a sign of moderate dehydration. If your skin springs back to normal in an instant, this is a sign that your body is hydrated.

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