While some people might get tired of hearing the words Make sure you drink plenty of water, it’s sound medical advice you should really pay attention to.

Fun fact: Two-thirds of the human body is made up of water, and is used in nearly every bodily process. The problem is, you have to remember to replenish the supply!

Of course, summertime heat causes people to sweat more, which means you lose water more rapidly than you might on cooler days. And while drinking liquids in general is important, liquids alone isn’t enough. You. Need. Water.

The body uses water quickly and efficiently. Other beverages – such as iced tea, lemonade, sodas, sports drinks, and juices – are often filled with sugar, caffeine and sodium and your body doesn’t use them as effectively. Most of those beverages are also a source of empty calories, meaning there is very little nutritional value.

Be aware of the signs of dehydration before they start. It is important that you listen to your body and be aware of dehydration symptoms. Although this seems odd, the best indicator of your hydration level is the color of your urine.

Yellow urine indicates dehydration. A healthy, hydrated person will have very pale yellow urine. Thirst is another indicator of hydration status. If you are thirsty, then you are likely already dehydrated. It is the body’s way of telling you that more water is necessary.

Here are several good things to keep in mind when it comes to water:

  • Recommendations vary, but everyone should make it a goal to drink at least 64 ounces of water per day. This should be even higher on hot summer days.
  • Don’t forget about toddlers and children. They need water, too.
  • Ice in the glass takes up space, so make sure you are still drinking a full glass.
  • To keep track of how much water you have consumed, set out eight pennies on the kitchen counter in the morning. Each time you finish a glass of water, take a penny away.
  • No matter what people say, cold water is no different than room temperature water. The body uses the water the same way.
  • Water may be clear, but try to “go green.” Think about the day and how water can be consumed without adding to landfills. Use recyclable bottles, and drink through a straw. Believe it or not, you consume more water when doing so.