Your body is anywhere from 60 to 70 percent water. Blood is mostly water. Your muscles, lungs, and brain all contain a lot of water. Your body needs water to regulate body temperature and to provide the means for nutrients to travel to all your organs. Water also transports oxygen to your cells, removes waste, and protects your joints and organs.
You lose water through urination, respiration, and by sweating. Obviously, if you are very active, you lose more water than if you are sedentary. Diuretics, such as caffeine and alcohol, cause you to need to drink more water because they trick your body into thinking you have more water than you have.
Symptoms of dehydration include pains in your joints and muscles, lower back pain, constipation, and for me a headache. A strong odor to your urine, along with anything less than a clear color, indicates that you may not be getting enough water. Thirst is an obvious sign of dehydration, and in fact, you need water long before you feel thirsty.
My favorite estimate figuring the amount of water you need is to take your body weight in pounds and divide that number in half. That gives you the number of ounces of water, per day, that you need to drink. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should drink at least 75 ounces of water per day. If you exercise, you should drink another glass of water for every 20 minutes you are active. If you drink alcohol, you should drink at least an equal amount of water.
When you are traveling on, or in, a plane, it is good to drink an extra glass every hour you are onboard the plane. If you live in a dry climate, you should add another two servings per day.
I like to count caffeinated beverages, such as tea or coffee, at half rates. 16 oz of coffee, I will allow for an 8 oz water count, but that’s just me. I mean, if you are drinking a gallon of coffee a day, that will not work for all your 125 pound self’s water…. Just sayin’….
So for the first sign of a headache, drink your water. Your skin will thank you, too!