CHARLOTTE, N.C. — With afternoon highs in the 90s and a heat index well over 100 degrees, it's important that everyone stays weather aware during the heatwave in the Carolinas.
One thing that's always stressed is staying hydrated, but just how much water does a person need before going outdoors in the heat? Most of us have heard the old saying that you should drink eight glasses of water a day, but is that enough water?
WCNC Charlotte's VERIFY team went to health care experts to get the answer on hydration and if you should consume that much water on a daily basis.
Should everyone always be drinking exactly eight glasses of water a day?
No, not everybody should always drink exactly eight glasses of water a day.
WHAT WE FOUND
According to the Mayo Clinic, water makes up about 50 to 70% of our body weight. Water also keeps your temperature normal, lubricates and cushions joints, and protects sensitive tissue. Kohli said many people don't need the traditional eight glasses.
"How much we drink is something in motion, it's not static every day," Kohli said. "It shouldn't be the same amount, it should be adjusted up or down based on what you are doing."
So where did the standard eight glasses of water come from?
"It's based on a 2,000-calorie diet," Kohli said. "There is a general rule of thumb that eight glasses of water came from the fact that for every calorie that you consume, you need about 1 milliliter of water."
Kohli said the best way to tell if you're getting enough water is the color of your urine.
"It should be a very light color," Kohli said. If it is starting to get a dark yellow that means you're not drinking enough."
It also depends on your activity level and if you are in a warm environment. The Mayo Clinic states most healthy people stay hydrated by drinking water and other fluids whenever they feel thirsty. For some people, fewer than eight glasses a day might be enough. However, others may need more.
Kohli said you can actually get water poisoning if you drink too much.
"It means you drink so much water that you dilute out the salt in your blood," Kohli said.
VERIFY is dedicated to helping the public distinguish between true and false information. The VERIFY team, with help from questions submitted by the audience, tracks the spread of stories or claims that need clarification or correction. Have something you want VERIFIED? Text us at 704-329-3600 or visit VERIFY.