You’ve may have heard that urine color—specifically dark yellow—can indicate dehydration, and this is indeed the case. When you’re properly hydrated, pee should be clear or just vaguely straw colored (the color in urine is caused by a pigment called urichrome, which gets lighter and darker depending on how concentrated urine becomes), and you should be going regularly, about once an hour depending on a variety of factors. A strong urinary odor, also due to concentration, is a sign of dehydration as well. And yes, you do need the recommended eight cups of fluid per day, but you don’t have to guzzle water to get it. Fruits and veggies contain water; if you’re loading up on those, it contributes to your daily eight-cup goal. But hydration is also about self-regulation. If you’re exercising, you need more fluid, (though only if you’re training for a marathon or doing some other sort of very intense and long-duration activity do you need a sports drink), so be aware of your body’s needs; fatigue and irritability can indicate dehydration as well.
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