Blood, muscles, lungs, and brain all contain water. You need water to regulate body temperature and to provide the means for nutrients to travel to your organs and tissues. It also helps transport oxygen to your cells, removes waste, and protects your joints and organs. Taking in too little water or losing too much water leads to dehydration.
Symptoms of mild dehydration include:
- Pains in joints and muscles
- Lower back pain
A strong odor to your urine, along with a yellow or amber color, may indicate that you may not be getting enough water.
Every day you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake for men is roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day. Adequate intake for women is 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day.
Women who are expecting or breast-feeding need additional fluids to stay hydrated. The Institute of Medicine recommends that pregnant women drink 2.3 liters (about 10 cups) of fluids daily and women who breast-feed consume 3.1 liters (about 13 cups) of fluids a day.