Are you dehydrated?

October 18

Are you dehydrated?

Water makes up a large proportion of the body - on average 60% of body weight in men and 50-55% in women. Many people become dehydrated by either not drinking enough or not replacing fluids that they have lost.

Proper hydration has numerous benefits to health. Water is the main component of blood, which supplies the cells with oxygen. Water regulates internal body temperature and lubricates joints. Studies have shown that at about 1% dehydration (equivalent of 1% of body weight water loss) there are negative effects on mental and physical function and these become more severe as dehydration gets worse. Symptoms of mild dehydration include a dry mouth, headaches and poor concentration. When they body realises that it is lacking water the first thing that happens is that the kidneys reduce the amount of water lost in urine and the colour becomes darker. If you are drinking enough your urine should be a straw or pale yellow colour. 

How can I stay hydrated? Drink water before you get thirsty. Thirst is a sign that your body is already dehydrated. Guidelines suggest drinking 2 litres of water a day. If the weather is hot or you are exercising – you need to drink more. Try adding fruits or herbs to your water bottle to make it more interesting. Eating water-rich foods is also an effective way to increase your water intake, some water rich foods include watermelon, cucumber, grapefruits, strawberries, and lettuce.

 

 

*if you have health issues or long-term injuries get your GP’s approval before starting any exercise or nutritional programmes*

 

 

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