Hydration 101

Sara Suchy | April 25, 2012

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True or False: To stay properly hydrated, you should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day.
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  2. 1 False
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Not necessarily true! It's not a one-size-fits-all scenario. Optimal hydration depends on several factors: body frame, weight, activity level and sweat rate; as well as external factors such as temperature and humidity level.  One person may require five glasses of water while another may need 10.  It is important to pay attention to your body's cues that it needs water.

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  1. True or False: To stay properly hydrated, you should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day.

    Correct Answer: False

    Not necessarily true! It's not a one-size-fits-all scenario. Optimal hydration depends on several factors: body frame, weight, activity level and sweat rate; as well as external factors such as temperature and humidity level.  One person may require five glasses of water while another may need 10.  It is important to pay attention to your body's cues that it needs water.

  2. When you work out for longer than an hour, a good fluid replacement beverage is:

    Correct Answer: Sports drink

    Under normal weather conditions, water is sufficient to rehydrate for workouts that last under an hour. However, once your work out goes over an hour, it is good to reach for a sports drink that will replenish electrolytes, which is mostly potassium and sodium. Soft drinks and energy drinks are often laden with extra sugar and caffeine, which will make you feel bloated and lower your blood sugar—both of which are not helpful while working out.

  3. True or False: you can always count on thirst as a signal to drink more fluids.

    Correct Answer: It depends.

    In normal conditions, this is usually true - but it depends. But older adults and people involved in strenuous physical activities may not feel thirsty when they are low on fluids. Always drink more water in hot temperatures even if you do not feel thirsty.

  4. Which of these medical conditions is known to be linked to dehydration?

    Correct Answer: All of the above are linked to dehydration

    Being dehydrated is a well known risk factor for painful kidney stones. Adequate hydration is associated with a reduced risk of fatal heart attacks, and several studies point to chronic dehydration as a link to constipation.

  5. True or False: You can never drink too much water.

    Correct Answer: False

    False! Although rare, water intoxication can and does happen. It is most common during extreme exercise such as marathons, when a person replenishes fluids with water instead of electrolyte sports drinks. Symptoms include confusion, nausea, fatigue, and seizures.

  6. The color of your urine can let you know your hydration status. What color is best?

    Correct Answer: The color of lemon juice

    The darker the color of urine, the more concentrated it is, which means the body has less water. Lighter colored urine usually means your body is well-hydrated. One exception is the first time you use the bathroom in the morning when your urine is naturally more concentrated.  Another exception can be when you take vitamins or other medications that may alter the color of your urine without affecting hydration.

  7. True or False: Drinking a lot of water or other fluids is not hard on the kidneys.

    Correct Answer: True

    True! The kidneys have an easier time filtering waste when the body is well-hydrated.  Drinking water can also reduce the risk of urinary tract infections because it keeps the urine diluted and stimulates you to urinate often, which prevents bacteria from collecting and helps to flush the urethra where bacteria settles.

  8. True or False: If you eat a relatively dry diet, you require more fluid from beverages than someone who eats a diet rich in water-based foods.

    Correct Answer: True

    True! If you consume more watery foods you obtain fluids that contribute to your daily hydration needs. Summer fruits such as cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, peaches and watermelon, have a high water content.

  9. People who wish to increase their water retention should:

    Correct Answer: Drink slowly

    Drink slowly.  Water retention varies and often depends on how quickly the water is drunk.  If it is gulped down quickly, it is usually excreted by the body faster.  But if it is consumed gradually, the body tends to retain more of it.