The benefits of drinking enough water every day are all well known. Keeping the body hydrated all the time has many positive health implications. It can help you avoid headaches, nausea, and lack of focus. However, even though most people know they should be drinking more water, it’s not easy to tell if the amount you are taking in daily is enough.
The NHS recommends at least six to eight glasses of water each day. However, we don’t think there’s anyone out there who keeps count. Most people will simply drink a glass of water when they are thirsty or after a meal. Besides, everybody these days seems to be in a hurry to get somewhere. Our schedules are often packed and finding the time to track your daily intake of water may be impossible.
However, there’s a new test that could actually tell you how much water you are drinking per day and whether it’s enough to meet the recommended daily intake. This test has been developed by a company called Medicine Plus. It’s a simple skin test that can be done anytime during the day to determine the level of hydration in your body.
The test checks “skin turgor” which is a colloquial term for skin elasticity. This is basically the measure of how easily the skin changes its shape and returns to normal when it is pressed or pulled with a little bit of force. If the skin has normal “turgor”, it will be able to snap back in place immediately. To test your skin “turgor”, squeeze it at the back of your hand for a few seconds. Try to apply a considerable amount of pressure as you press. If the skin snaps back to normal right away, then it means your body is properly hydrated. If it doesn’t, perhaps you should start drinking more water.
According to Ali Webster, a dietitian from the International Food Information Council Foundation, drinking coffee or tea on a daily basis is fine. In fact, Webster says that this can be a great way of getting your daily recommended water intake. Contrary to popular belief, drinking coffee or tea will not dehydrate your body. Although caffeine has its own diuretic effects, the benefits of hydration you get as a result of drinking more coffee far outweigh them.
You may also want to drink juices, smoothies, and soda. These drinks tend to have a lot of sugar content but they too can contribute to hydration. But the best option is to drink only water. It’s not something you will get used to in a flash but if you make it a habit of drinking a glass of water every two or three hours, it will be very easy to hit the six glasses you need per day. The skin test should also be done on a regular basis. Since most people rarely track their water intake, doing the test regularly could be a timely reminder to increase your intake as needed.