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Jun 7, 2012 7:48 PM

Smart Choices: How to Stay Hydrated!

TUCSON - It's hot out there! As summer kicks into high gear, it's important to hydrate. Today on News 4 Tucson at 4 p.m., Hana Feeney stopped by with some Smart Choices to stay hydrated this summer. Here are her tips:

How much do you really need and what should you drink?

The familiar 8-glasses a day works for some people but not all. Here's a better rule-of-thumb, drink ½-1 ounce per pound of body weight. So someone weighing 160 pounds should drink 80-160 ounces of fluids per day. The best way to know if you are hydrated is to check your urine color. It should be a dilute, yellow color with no strong odor.

Can you drink too much?

Surprisingly you can get too much fluid. You often hear that you should drink until your urine is clear. That isn't really necessary and for some people this can cause problems. Our blood is a concentration of electrolytes. Sodium is the most important electrolyte and when you drink too much fluid you risk diluting the concentration of sodium in your blood. This is a bigger risk for endurance athletes, salty sweaters, people taking medications for hypothyroid or people taking diuretics or people with extremely low salt in their diets. When you drink so much that you dilute the concentration of sodium in your blood, it is called hyponatremia.

Getting it all in

Using the ½-1 ounce per pound of body weight is where you start. Once you know how much to drink, you've got to do it! Everything "counts" including watery foods, such as soup!

Develop a system to keep track of how much you are drinking so that you are sure to get enough every day. It's true-being dehydrated makes hungrier. If you aren't drinking enough, you'll also be tired and grumpy.

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