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Most Americans are chronically dehydrated.

Dry lips? Drink water. Mid-afternoon headache? Drink water. You probably know someone who only eats one or two times a day. Maybe even someone that can go a day and “forget” to eat. You may be the type of person who wonders how that happens because your stomach would literally growl at you to eat some food. Well, if you ignore those hunger pains and cues, your body will stop giving you signs.

The same is true for hydration.

The question I’m often asked HOW MUCH WATER SHOULD YOU DRINK. Today, I want to talk about how to tell if you are dehydrated or hungry. If you don’t know by now, one way to check your level of hydration is to look at the color of your urine. It should not be clear, that is a sign of drinking so much water that your body is not retaining electrolytes. It should also not be brown or dark yellow, as that is a sign of dehydration. Sometimes, what we consume can temporarily change the color of our urine. If you recently had a lot of beets, you may find a brownish-red hue to your urine. If you take vitamins, specifically B12, you may notice your urine is almost neon in color. This is a sign that you are taking in more than your body can absorb. It is ok, though, and you can continue with your vitamin regimen.

I am a huge proponent of meal planning.

If you are hungry, eat the next meal on your plan. Maybe you planned to eat lunch at 1, and it’s only 11. Maybe you didn’t eat enough earlier, and you need to move your mealtime up. You can, however, try a glass of water first. See if the water satisfies your body’s desire for food. If it subsides your hunger, chances are, you were just dehydrated.

I live in the midwest, have psoriasis, and I love to take hot showers. My skin can look pretty dry just because. Many times, dry skin can be a sign of dehydration. If you find yourself needing extra lotion or chapstick, try adding an extra glass of water to your day.

When I’ve focused on hitting my personal water goal, I always notice a difference in my face. My skin just looks softer, and I have fewer blemishes. I challenge you to track your water, hit a goal, and notice the difference in your face over just 7 days.

The easiest thing we can check, hydration

We can have mid-afternoon energy crashes, headaches, focus problems, and snack attacks for a myriad of reasons. The easiest thing we can check, hydration. Drink a full glass of water and see if your ailments improve.

What have been some of your signs that you need to drink more water? Conversely, what have you seen change or improve when you focus on drinking all your water?

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