The amount of water you drink directly affects the color of your urine, according to a report from Harvard Health Publications. Your urine is composed of excess water and waste elements that are filtered from your blood by your kidneys. The darker your urine, the more concentrated these waste products are, signaling a lack of water. If you suffer from dehydration, your urine will become a dark amber color and look murky with a smell stronger than normal. Too much water, however, can cause over hydration and can overwork your kidneys. Murky urine can be the cause of a urinary tract infection and should be assessed by your doctor to prevent further complications.
Drink an 8-ounce glass of warm water first thing in the morning without adding any tea bags, loose herbs or other ingredients. Warm water is beneficial to your system because it matches your body temperature more closely than cold water, making it easier for your body to assimilate the hydration effects, since it doesn't have to expend calories in trying to warm it up to your body temperature, according to the book "Eat, Drink and Be Healthy," by Dr. Walter Willett.
Drink at least three more 8-ounce glasses of water after your breakfast and before your lunch. Try to avoid cold water. If you don't like drinking warm water each time, drink room-temperature water instead.
Include another four 8-ounce glasses of water in your day to add up to a total of eight glasses of water. This is a minimum amount you should be drinking, and although it may seem like a lot it is still not the recommended intake set by the Institute of Medicine. The IOM recommends that women consume 2.7 liters, or 91 ounces, per day and men should consume 3.7 liters, or 125 ounces, per day. By increasing your water intake you will hydrate your body and assist your kidneys in the proper filtration of toxins and waste material from your blood, giving you more clean urine as a result.
Drink even more water if you are going to engage in physical activity or are in a hot climate. The American Council on Exercise recommends you consume 17 to 20 ounces of water three hours before exercise, then an additional 8 ounces 30 minutes before, or during your warm-up period. You should drink another 7 to 10 ounces during every 20 minutes of exercise, and an additional 8 ounces within 30 minutes after exercise.
The amount of water recommended is in addition to any other type of liquid you may include in your diet, such as coffee, teas and soups.
If you are experiencing pain when urinating, a persistent urge to urinate, fever and urine that has a strong smell, you may have a urinary tract infection that may need antibiotic treatment.
Always contact your primary health practitioner if your urine has signs of blood or if its color changes are unrelated to the food you eat, as this may be a sign of a more serious health condition that may need immediate medical attention.