Note: This article is an updated version of the original article that was posted on August 10, 2020.
Every year, San Antonians gather outside to dance, drink and celebrate at our citywide party, Fiesta. But between daytime parades and nighttime festivals, it’s important to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water.
How can you make drinking water a central part of your lifestyle? We have some tips.
The Importance of Drinking Water
Water makes up over 60% of your body weight. Every cell, tissue and organ in your body needs water to function properly.
“Water is essential for both keeping your body hydrated and helping your body to perform important functions daily,” said Dr. Deborah Dergan, a family practice physician at University Health. “Drinking enough water ensures that your body has what it needs to clean out toxins in your system and maintain adequate blood pressure.”
Water also helps your body:
- Boost skin health
- Get rid of waste through urination, perspiration and bowel movements
- Lubricate and cushion joints
- Maintain a normal temperature
Staying Hydrated in the Texas Heat
Most people need at least 6-8 cups (48-64 oz) of water every day to stay hydrated. If you spend the day outside at a Fiesta event, you'll need to drink more. To avoid getting dehydrated, drink plenty of fluids–as much as 2-3 cups per hour.
If you're enjoying a margarita or a beer, you will need to drink more water to stay hydrated. Alcohol removes fluids from your blood at a faster rate than other liquids.
“An easy way to determine if you need to drink more water is to look at the color of your urine,” Dr. Dergan said. “If you aren’t getting enough water, your urine will be very dark in color. When you are drinking plenty of water, your urine will be clear.”
Tips for Drinking More Water
Drinking water is the best way to stay hydrated, but there are plenty of other ways to achieve your daily 6-8 cup goal.
If you struggle to get the recommended 6-8 cups of water each day, check out these tips for drinking more water:
- Flavor your water with lemons, limes, oranges, strawberries or the fruit of your choice
- Alternate between water and other beverages, like soda and juice
- Drink a cup of water every time you brush your teeth or eat a meal
- Use a smartphone app to keep you on track
- Take a bottle of water on the go with you
Symptoms of Dehydration
- Dark urine
- Dry mouth or skin
- Feeling very thirsty
What to Do if You're Dehydrated
If you are experiencing signs of dehydration, do this to help yourself:
- Drink fluids rich in electrolytes, like Gatorade or Pedialyte
- Get in an air-conditioned room, or relocate to a shady spot if you're outside
- Put a damp towel around your neck
- Remove excess clothing and loosen tight-fitting clothing
- Sip on cool water
- Spray water on your skin to encourage cooling by evaporation
Watch for severe signs of dehydration, including confusion, bloody or black stool or extreme fatigue or sleepiness. Seek medical help immediately to avoid severe complications or illness.