Question:

I drink approximately 10 glasses of water a day.  Do I need to supplement my water with electrolytes and if I don’t add anything to my water am I washing out nutrients drinking so much water?

– Carmela M.

Answer:

Your reported water intake may be excessive if you are also drinking a lot of other beverages. If it’s your only fluid intake, then 10 glasses of plain water are fine, assuming you are an active, healthy adult with no medical conditions. True water overload that dilutes blood electrolytes (a serious situation called hyper-hydration or water intoxication) is rare and comes from downing gallons of water in a short period of time.

Thirst is a weak indicator of your hydration status. Better yet, check your urine color. Optimal is a pale yellow like the area circled in the image below:

LA Fitness, LAF, nutrition, QA, Ask Our Dietitian, ask our nutritionist, am I drinking too much water, daily water intake, LA Fitness ask a dietitian, daily water intake

You shouldn’t need to add electrolytes to your water or worry about flushing out micro-nutrients if you’re generally in this range. A clear or barely perceptible yellow reflects dilute urine, while an amber color is a sign of dehydration.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.


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