The height of summer heat will soon be upon us, so let me remind you of something you’ve been hearing all your life: hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
Many of us believe we’re doing a great job on the hydration front. We pack a water bottle in the morning, sip on it throughout the day, and order a glass of fizzy water with our lunch. But there’s a really good chance that your body craves even more water than you think.
Our estheticians swear that your skin is one of the best indicators of dehydration and they told me about a very simple three-second “pinch test” that will tell you if your skin is begging for additional water. Here’s how:
- Gently pinch the skin on the top of your hand or under your collarbone using two fingers.
- Hold the skin in place with your fingers for three seconds.
- Release the skin and see if it snaps back to its normal position.
- If the skin snaps back to shape quickly, you're well hydrated. But if it takes awhile to return to its form, chances are that you’re dehydrated.
So how much water do you really need to avoid dehydration? The FDA suggests a daily fluid intake of about 15 cups for men and 11 cups for women. Add a bit more if the temperatures soar or if you’re engaged in a rigorous workout. Pace your intake over the course of the day to avoid stomach upset and remember that certain foods – watermelon, cantaloupe, celery, and bell peppers to name a few – have high water content. Snack on them throughout the day for hydration bonus points!