Are you drinking enough water?

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) -- We've all heard about the importance of staying hydrated in this hot weather.

But how many of us actually drink enough water, and how much should you drink?

Sparkling, purified, spring, even smart.

The types of water are just as varied as the brands.

But how much are we actually drinking?

We asked customers at Dothan’s Piggly Wiggly, and the amounts varied.

"Not very much."

"At least a gallon of water."

"About 60 to 80 ounces."

"About 2 gallons."

“Probably about 8 to 10 glasses."

"I drink probably about a half a gallon a day."

"Not enough water because I just drink other things."

And with temperatures inching toward triple-digits, most people are drinking the bare minimum.

"Heat injuries can be very severe,” said Pediatrician for Dothan Pediatrics, Dr. Mark Strassburg.

“Your brain always makes sure to take care of itself, so if you are not staying hydrated, you tend not to stay upright," Strassburg said.

Besides keeping you cool and hydrated on a hot day, drinking plenty of water can also help you shed some extra pounds.

"When the body is properly hydrated your body's digestion works better,” said Assistant Manager and Personal Trainer for Dothan Athletic Club, Jim McCraney.

“And if the internal system works better, then everything metabolizes better, and therefore you reduce your body fat," McCraney said.

So how do you know if you're drinking enough?

"Really thirst is your best measure of what you need to drink. A good indicator when you go to the bathroom, if it's nice and clear, it's a good indication you're drinking enough," said Dr. Strassburg.

So next time you're feeling a bit parched, experts say reach for H2O instead of the sugary drinks.

"It's okay to have a sports drink occasionally, but H2O, water, is the proper way, the proper liquid to drink for any kind of outdoor or indoor activity," McCraney said.

Advice that holds its weight in water.

Many people site the taste of water as being their reason for not drinking enough of it, but experts recommend adding lemon or some other calorie-free flavoring to help you drink up.

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