It's also important to be mindful of what contributes to our hydration outside of water. We measure hydration by using specific gravity and creatinine levels, this shows us the density of urine as compared to water. Water is not the only way we get fluids, we also pull fluids from the other beverages we drink, like milk, juices, tea, and from the foods we eat. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine states that around 20 percent comes from the food we eat.
If we are over hydrated, the electrolytes (sodium, magnesium, potassium, chloride) in our body can become diluted, and are unable to maintain this fluid balance. For example, if over hydration causes our sodium to become very low, this dysregulation of the balance of fluid within cells can cause the brain can swell and other issues. So while electrolytes are important for combatting dehydration, they are also necessary to help prevent problems associated with over hydration. It's all about balance!
This article has been authored by Mikaela Frame and peer reviewed by Lauren Lehmkuhl and Sinead Adedipe.