How Do I Know If I'm Drinking Enough Water?

How Do I Know If I’m Drinking Enough Water? Try Our Simple Trick.

When you live with incontinence, it’s easy to think that limiting your fluids will help you to avoid an uncomfortable bladder leak. And while in some cases that may be true, most of the time, restricting your fluids can have negative consequences, including dehydration and foul smelling urine. It may even cause you to have the problem that you are trying to avoid:  a leaky bladder.

It’s long been recommended that we need to drink 8 glasses of water a day. But really, you should drink to quench your thirst, and try to listen to your body to know the right amount of water intake for you. This can vary for everyone so it’s important to listen to your body and drink when you’re thirsty.

 Keep reading to learn more about how limiting your water intake can harm your health, and a tip for knowing if you’re drinking enough.

How Restricting Your Fluids Can Harm Your Health

  1. Dehydration. It’s a fact of life: our bodies need water to function properly. Without it, you will become dehydrated and may experience symptoms such as headaches, muscle cramps, dizziness, lack of energy, not peeing or having dark yellow pee, irritability, or even fainting. 

    The simple fix? If it’s just mild dehydration you’re suffering from drink some water or clear fluid like broth or Gatorade. 2-3 cups may do the job and having you feeling better within the hour.

  2.  However if you experience severe dehydration, you may need hospitalization and intravenous hydration for up to 24 hours to recover.

    Drinking fewer fluids throughout the day can irritate the bladder, leading to more leaks. Yes – it’s true!  What you are trying to avoid may be exactly the thing you are causing!  When you drink less water, you urine becomes very concentrated and can actually irritate the bladder, which can lead to bladder leaks.

    Concentrated urine can also lead to bladder infections or urinary tract infections, which is something we’d all probably like to avoid.

  3. When you do have leaks, they’ll smell a lot more. Remember how we just said your urine becomes more concentrated when you restrict fluids? That also makes it smell a lot more, meaning if you do leak, you’ll have a harder time covering up unpleasant odors.

How Do I Know If I’m Drinking Enough Water? 

So, what’s the right amount for you?  Here’s an easy tip to tell if your water intake is adequate.

The Skin Pinch Test

Pinch the skin on the back of your hand, then let it go. If you’re fully hydrated, your skin should bounce right back. But if it takes longer for the skin to return to normal, you may be dehydrated.   

So whatever you do, don’t skimp on your water! And if you’re finding it hard to work in the recommended 6-8 glasses a day, try some add-ins, like cucumber, berries, or citrus.  Here are some great ideas to spruce up your H2O.

 

 

How Much Water Should You Drink When You Have Incontinence?

How Much Water Should You Drink When You Have Incontinence?

How Much Water Should You Drink When You Have Incontinence?

When you have incontinence, you’ll do anything to avoid having an embarrassing accident. And it may seem logical to think that restricting fluids will help you avoid one. While cutting back a little may help, it also may hurt you. Drinking too little can cause dehydration, which means your body can’t function like it should. When you don’t drink enough your urine also can become very concentrated, which can cause bladder irritation (meaning that it may actually cause you to have an accident). And, if you do leak, concentrated urine has a much stronger smell, which may make your leak more noticeable to others. The tip is finding that right balance between too much and too little.

Below are some tips on how much you should be drinking, and how to find your magic number.

Drink Enough To Stay Hydrated.

This will vary from person to person, but for most, 6-88oz glasses per day is enough.  You can also look to your own urine for clues on if you are well-hydrated – in general, lighter colored urine means your more hydrated and darker, yellow colored urine means your urine is very concentrated and you may need to drink more.

Use A Bladder Diary.

A bladder diary is a great tool to track the relationship between what you eat and drink and your incontinence. Use it for a few days and pay close attention to how your fluid intake plays a role in any accidents or urges you may have. This will give you a good indication on whether or not your drinking too much or too little as it relates to your incontinence.

Limit Fluids Before Bedtime.

If you suffer from nocturia or bedwetting, try limiting the fluids you drink before bedtime. While you don’t want to limit your water intake too much throughout the day, keeping fluids to a minimum an hour or so before bed may help curb some of the nightly bathroom trips you’ve been making.

Pay attention to what you drink. 

Water is always a good choice, but other drinks may actually cause you to go more simply because of what’s in them. Minimize caffeinated, sugary and carbonated drinks. And decrease or eliminate alcohol consumption.  All of these have been known to irritate the bladder.

If you’re thirsty – DRINK! 

Cutting back on fluids, especially when you’re thirsty, can cause dehydration and lead to more problems. Your body needs water to function well and thirst is the number one indicator that you need to drink more. Keep this in mind especially when it’s hot outside, or you’re working up a sweat in the gym – listen to your body and never put off your thirst because you’re scared of having an accident.

Remember, everyone is different so there is no one right amount that you should be drinking. Experiment and find out what works best for you, and most importantly, pay attention to your body and stay healthy.

Want to learn about some ways to fit more water into your daily routine? Read this:  How To Drink More Water