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Be.Well staff

Health Minute: Tips for Staying Hydrated

Is eight the magic number?

You've no doubt heard it before: We all need eight glasses of water a day. You might even have accepted it as the truth. But as is often the case, the truth is more nuanced. Why? The recommendation is actually about fluid intake, not just water.

So that cup of coffee in the morning? It counts as fluid intake since it's mostly water. Same goes for that juicy orange you had with lunch. And those green beans and carrots with dinner.

How much fluid do you need?

It depends on many factors — the weather, your weight, diet, medications, exercise, and even how dry the air is in your home.

How can you tell if you're well hydrated?

Two ways: Thirst and urine color.

If you're thirsty, drink up. And if your urine is a dark yellow, drink up. (Note: If it stays dark even after you've increased fluid intake, see your doctor.)