How Much Water Keeps You Hydrated?


Our office continues to be open to all new and existing patients. We use hospital-grade sanitizers and are taking measures to ensure patients maintain social distancing by not having anyone wait in our reception room with others. If you prefer to wait in your car, just give us a call and we will call or text you when we are ready to bring you straight into a treatment room. Our entire staff is wearing masks and we encourage you to do the same.

For those patients who cannot or still wish not to visit the office, we are offering private video telemedicine visits. Simply call the office at 713-785-7881 and ask for an e-visit and we will be happy to get you set up for an immediate appointment. You can also request an appointment through our website.

Water is the best choice of fluid for maintaining hydration levels!During the hot summer (and winter and spring) months in Houston, dehydration is a prime health concern. Even if you are drinking regularly, you may not be retaining enough fluids to keep your body properly hydrated. So how much fluid do you need?

The answer is: it depends! The amount of water you need depends on climatic conditions, the clothing you’re wearing, and your current activity level.

Someone who sweats heavily, for example, will need to drink more than someone who stays relatively dry.  Diabetics or people with heart conditions may need to drink more water, and certain medications make you urinate more often, which means your body loses fluid at a higher rate.

Don't think that drinking when you’re thirsty will keep you safe: by the time you feel parched, your body has already started to dehydrate. A better indicator of your body’s need for fluid is actually the color of your pee!

If urine is pale and clear, that means you’re well hydrated—good job! If, however, it’s dark and concentrated, that’s a strong indication that you need to drink more fluids ASAP.

If you want to know exactly how much fluid you need, try weighing yourself before and after exercise; the weight differential will show you how much sweat-weight you’ve lost. The key to staying safe, especially when running outdoors in these hot months, is to replenish every pound of sweat weight (or portion thereof) with a pint of water.

While that may seem unlikely to you—who loses a pound during a workout these days??—it’s especially applicable to those in serious training, be it for a marathon or for high school athletics. Keep in mind as well that if you’re not sweating while being out and active in the heat, it could be another indication that you’re dehydrated—possibly dangerously so.

So, keep an eye on the porcelain throne this summer and follow our new adage to stay safely hydrated: if it’s pale yellow, let it mellow, if it’s dark, grab a drink!

Dr. Andrew Schneider
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A podiatrist and foot surgeon in Houston, TX.