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The chances are that you've heard the phrase "eight glasses a day" more times than you can actually remember. In actual fact, while it is good to have a goal of some sort to stick to research suggests that this standard amount might not be "right". If not eight glasses though, how much should you be drinking?

What is Your Body Telling You

While guidelines are in place for a reason a better approach, especially for those involved in fitness training who know their bodies quite well would be to listen closely to what they say. If you are thirsty your body is telling you it wants water. If your urine is dark yellow (instead of a pale yellow, not clear) or your urine output has dropped, that is your body telling you that you need to drink more. Over-filling your stomach with water that your body doesn't necessarily need is not helpful in any way.

Are You Eating Water?

Some foods naturally contain high levels of water, particularly some vegetables and fruits. If you're enjoying a good amount of these water-packed foods as part of your diet then you won't necessarily need to drink as much water. Look at the other drinks you enjoy throughout the day, such as herbal teas or even coffee. These boast a water content which aids hydration even though they aren't "pure" water themselves.

Electrolyte Levels

It is important that your body supports a balanced electrolyte balance, for essential minerals such as phosphorus and sodium to be present is correct levels. Drinking large amounts of water will knock this balance out and drinking highly excessive amounts could even cause serious harm, even death in extreme cases as the minerals required for health would be missing

Water and Your Digestion

As we know water is needed to help flush the body out, removing waste products our body no longer needs. What few people realise however is that too much water may dilute the important digestive stomach juices which is turn results in digestive issues and poorly broken down food (which could have a nutritional knock-on effect). Again, finding that balance between "eating" and drinking water for good health as opposed to flooding the body because propaganda screams "drink" at you is essential.

Drinking water is important, essential even however it is important that you listen to your body, maintain a healthy hydration level and not be tempted to go overboard. Did you know that the symptoms of water intoxication (too much water) are in many ways similar to some of the symptoms of dehydration? Look out for fatigue, sleeping issues, frequent urination, headaches, muscle spasms and even issues with mental clarity (brain fog some people call it) as if you drink excessively and suffer from these it could be your body telling you to adjust your intake levels. 

Your body has a voice, make sure you listen to it.