ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Hydration is crucial to our health. In fact, studies show chronic dehydration can lead to a shorter life expectancy, but Internist Dr. Mahmud Kara says 50 percent of Americans aren’t getting enough water.
“Normally, people think vitamin D, and magnesium, but water is truly a deficiency,” Dr. Kara said.
Kara explains that long-term deprivation is linked to chronic health issues including heart and lung disease. “People who are drinking more water on a regular basis are more likely to live longer than people who are not drinking water.”
Symptoms of dehydration include thirst, headache and low energy but Kara says the clear answer lies in the restroom.
“If you’re going frequently and your urine is clear to almost watery looking, then you’re probably getting enough fluid. If, on the other hand, you’re not going very frequently and your urine is yellow to dark yellow, then you’re very likely not getting enough water.”
Kara explains, “it sounds vulgar, it sounds gross, but that’s the most important way.”
Instead of getting stuck on the number of cups you’re aiming to drink, he says to keep water nearby so you’re reaching for it often and focus on adding electrolytes as well.