Tips On Avoiding Dehydration
Could you be dehydrated and not even know it? Many people don't realize it, but by the time your mouth starts to feel dry, you're already beginning to become dehydrated. In fact, that's one of the last signs that you haven't been drinking enough water. If you've been feeling a little off-color, with symptoms including headache, dizziness, lightheadedness, muscle weakness and extreme tiredness, then you probably need to rehydrate - fast! (And I don't want to be indelicate, but if your urine is dark in color, that's another sign of possible dehydrations)
The truth is that our bodies need water - lots of it! It's not enough to drink other drinks - we need to drink water too. How much we need is always a subject for debate, with different experts giving different guidelines. Here are some of the options:
Water Intake Guidelines
The Mayo Clinic and the US Institute of Medicine recommend 3 litres of water a day for men and 2.2 litres for women - that's similar to the guidelines given by the World Health Organization.
The Mayo Clinic also suggests that you simply replace the amount of water you lose each day - likely to be about 2.5 litres. Alternatively, you could drink 8 glasses a day, which would put your daily water consumption at just under 2 litres.
These figures are just the benchmark, because in some circumstances you need to drink even more. The World Health Organization says that if there's a heatwave, then you should drink 4.5 litres of water a day. And you can increase that amount even more if you're pregnant (4.8 litres) or lactating (5.5 litres). If you're an athlete or active sports enthusiast you also need to replace the water you lose when you perspire.
Getting Hooked on Water
So how can you stave off dehydration and have healthy drinking habits? Here are a few tips:
- Take a bottle of water with you when you exercise, whether that's jogging, cycling or going to the gym.
- Drink water with meals and snacks and replace some alcoholic or soft drinks with water.
You could also try talking your boss into getting a plumbed in office water cooler so you can have cool water on tap. :)
Finally, make sure that you don't overdo the rehydration process. Drinking too much water can cause water intoxication and is as bad as drinking too little.
Sharon Hurley Hall writes for Eden Springs, the UK's No 1. water cooler supplier and the first in the UK to provide certified carbon neutral water.