All living things require two essential elements for survival: oxygen and water. Considering this, water is a critical element that keeps us alive.
In the body, your intake of water must be balanced with the amount of water you lose or excrete. In other words, the amount of water you consume daily should equate to your daily fluid loss. On the other hand, consuming adequate fluids allows you to meet your body’s needs for specific trace elements.
That said, how can you tell whether you’re consuming an “adequate” amount of water daily? There’s no need for guesswork. There are numerous hydration testing methods available that help assess an individual’s hydration status, such as the urine-specific gravity test. As a result, it is now easier than ever for you to stay well-hydrated to achieve optimal wellness.
What is a urine-specific gravity test?
The urine specific gravity test compares the density of urine with the density of water and can provide valuable insights into your hydration status.
What are the possible results of the urine specific gravity test?
Water’s specific gravity value is 1.000. The more concentrated the fluid is with more particles, the higher its specific gravity value. Because urine contains various waste products filtered out by the kidneys, it is only natural to expect its specific gravity value to measure higher than 1.000. While it might vary slightly between different laboratories, the normal values of specific gravity for urine is generally between 1.005 and 1.035. If you’re overhydrated, your urine-specific gravity will typically show a value close to 1.000. On the contrary, if you’re dehydrated, your urine-specific gravity will typically show a value of more than 1.020.
Dehydration occurs when your body loses more fluids than you consume. The human body is known to lose an average of 2.5-3 liters of water daily. When you fail to replace this water loss, you deprive your body of the water and fluids that are necessary for it to perform its routine functions. You’re not just depriving your body of water either. You’re also failing to replenish the loss of important minerals that regulate your body’s electrolyte balance, such as sodium and potassium.
Mild signs of dehydration include the sensation of thirst; muscle cramps, headaches; dryness and coldness of the skin; decreased urination and dark yellow urine; and a dry and sticky mouth.
Signs of severe dehydration include having difficulty with urinating, urine that is very dark yellow or amber in color, and dry and wrinkled skin (5).
The basic causes of dehydration include forgetting to drink water, not having enough water on hand, and not being able to consume enough while on the move. That said, there are also many other potential reasons for dehydration, such as excessive sweating due to excessive exercise or high temperature; excessive urination that causes the kidneys to lose their water retention; diuretics; alcohol consumption; and endurance sports such as marathon running, climbing, and triathlon training.
- Decrease in athletic performance
- Decrease in cognitive functions
Replacing lost fluids and electrolytes is the most effective method for recovering from dehydration. That said, it’s worth noting that the best approach to dehydration depends on three factors: the individual’s age, the severity of dehydration, and the cause of dehydration. In cases of mild and moderate dehydration, increasing water consumption is typically the most appropriate solution. If fluids are lost through intense physical exertion, the intake of fluids containing electrolytes may be preferred.
Staying well-hydrated helps maintain the balance of body fluids. While you may not be aware of it, your body loses large amounts of water every minute, whether it be from breathing, skin evaporation, urine, or stool. Any loss in fluids must be replenished for wellness. More specifically, drinking plenty of water is crucial for optimal physical and mental performance.
How much water do we really need?
How much water you need depends on many factors and can vary significantly from person to person depending on age, weight, medication, exercise, and weather conditions. In general, though, research indicates that an adult woman should drink 2.7 liters of water daily and a man 3.7 liters daily. Beyond meeting your water needs through liquids, you can also increase your fluid intake via foods high in water content, such as fruits and vegetables. Examples of fruits and vegetables that are high in water content include melons, watermelons, strawberries, bell peppers, and cucumbers.
How do I know if I’m drinking enough water?
Signs that you’re dehydrated or not drinking enough water include having a dry mouth, dry skin, fatigue, frequent hunger, and digestive problems.
Related: Vivoo Water Box
Drinking too much water or overhydration can also be harmful to your wellness. Overhydration can lead to water poisoning, where the amount of sodium and other electrolytes in your body becomes too diluted.
The most common symptom of overhydration is a headache. Overhydration can also manifest as feelings of nervousness and confusion. It can also cause nausea and muscle spasms.
At its core, overhydration is an imbalance of fluids. It happens when your body takes in or holds on to more fluids than your kidneys can remove. Overhydration can occur either by drinking too much water or when the body is unable to remove excess water. It’s important to note that your exact water needs vary according to age, biological sex, weather conditions, and activity levels, among other factors. You’d typically need a higher than average intake of fluids under conditions like extreme heat, strenuous activity, and a long duration of exercise.
Recovery from overhydration
The specific type of recovery prescribed for overhydration depends on its cause, along with the severity of symptoms. These may include:
- Reducing fluid intake,
- Stopping medications that cause overhydration
- Changing sodium intake habits
Why use Vivoo?
Vivoo provides you with a straightforward and fuss-free method of telling whether you’re hydrated. With a simple test, you can learn your hydration status in real-time and get personalized tips on how you can ensure that your body is properly hydrated. This is especially useful if you juggle a packed schedule and struggle with remembering to drink enough water over the course of a typical day.
How Vivoo keeps us on track
Vivoo helps you determine your body’s hydration level in real-time by measuring your urine’s specific gravity through Vivoo test strips. Vivoo then provides personalized lifestyle and nutritional advice to users based on their results to help them ensure optimal hydration levels at any time and any place.
What affects water consumption?
The total amount of water you need can depend on your daily activity, climate, and cases of pregnancy. In general, you need to consume more water if you engage in any physical activity or if you are living in an extreme climate that causes you to sweat to ensure that you replenish all the fluids lost.
On the other hand, there are also some conditions that may impair the body’s ability to excrete excess fluids. An individual with any of these conditions may have to limit their water consumption.
Is water the only option for staying hydrated?
One of the easiest ways to hydrate is to drink plenty of water. That said, fruits and vegetables that are high in water content can also help support the body’s fluid balance. These include:
- Cucumbers: Cucumbers are made up of around 95% water.
- Tomatoes: Like cucumbers, tomatoes are made up of around 95% water.
- Watermelon: Watermelon is made up of 92% water. It’s also dense in nutrients and known to contain beta-carotene, lycopene, and vitamin C.
- Yogurt: Yogurt is made up of 80% water. It’s also rich in probiotics.
- Strawberries: Strawberries are made up of more than 90% water. It’s also rich in vitamin C.
Water is essential for life. That’s why it’s so important for you to pay attention to your hydration status and ensure that you drink enough fluids to replenish what’s been lost over the course of a day.
By helping you stay in tune with your hydration status in real-time, Vivoo ensures that you’re well-hydrated so that you can always achieve your optimal well-being.