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What does it take to get truly hydrated?

Your body is 50% to 70% water, and losing even 1% of that can cause changes in mood, endurance and bodily functions.

But staying well watered isn’t a matter of downing the liquid when you feel thirsty. In fact, once you are feeling thirsty, you’ve waited too long. Another important fact: You need to think about hydration even when you’re not working out or sweating.

In everyday situations, drinking water on an empty stomach sends it in and out of you too quickly to provide cells, tissue and organs with the moisture they need. It’s better to drink water with meals (celery, tomatoes, strawberries and watermelon are especially hydrating, too) and between, according to David Nieman, director of the Human Performance Lab at the North Carolina Research Campus.

So, know your colors — urine colors, that is — says the Cleveland Clinic:

>> Transparent: Drink less.

>> Pale, straw colored: You’re hydrated.

>> Transparent yellow: You’re normal.

>> Dark yellow: Normal, but drink water soon.

>> Amber or honey: You’re not getting enough water. Drink.

>> Brown; pink to red; blue or green: Let your doctor figure it out.


Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer and chairman of the Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. Email questions to youdocsdaily@sharecare.com.


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