The weather is warming up and that means we must be as diligent as ever about replenishing the water we lose as our daily bodily functions run their remarkable course. According to Authority Nutrition, "Water is absolutely necessary for survival. It makes up approximately 60% of the human body, with every system depending on water to function properly." Through sweat, urination, digestion, etc., our bodies use and lose water and it's up to us to refill the tank before the onset of dehydration sets in.
People can become mildly dehydrated and they don't even realize the process has already begun. Feeling thirsty isn't necessarily the sign that it is time to get sipping. In fact, as per Mayo Clinic, "Many people, particularly older adults, don't feel thirsty until they're already dehydrated. That's why it's important to increase water intake during hot weather or when you're ill."
If you experience any or all of the symptoms below, you may be dehydrated to some extent. Be sure to drink plenty of water all day long in order to prevent these from happening in the first place, and if it's too late and you're already feeling the heat, try alleviating the issue(s) by rehydrating. If nothing changes or things get worse, connect with your doctor before the dehydration becomes severe.
Dry Mouth – Authority Nutrition notes, "For most people, responding to thirst effectively prevents dehydration." Although the process of dehydration may have already begun, this is a good way to nip any other worse symptoms in the bud.
Tiredness – If you've been getting adequate sleep but still feel tired or lethargic, emedicinehealth suggests you may be in need of hydration. Sip throughout the day and see if your energy level and alertness shifts.
Headache – There are lots of reasons people get headaches, but if you feel one coming on, rule out dehydration by filling up on water. As per Authority Nutrition, "In most cases, drinking water can resolve a dehydration-related headache."
Dry Skin – Lotions may make your skin temporarily smooth and supple, but for those who are dehydrated, the skin can become flaky, itchy, dry, tight, and eventually wrinkly. According to Dermalogica, "When skin is dehydrated, it creates more oil to make up for the missing water. This can cause breakouts, irritation and dry patches."
Little Urine Output/Dark Yellow Urine – "The color and amount of urine that your body produces are good indicators of your hydration status. Dark yellow urine or a low urine output are signs of dehydration," according to Authority Nutrition. The more you flush out the system with water, the clearer your urine should be and you should feel the need to relieve yourself more frequently.
It's time to raise a glass (of water) to ensure you stay well-hydrated. Don't wait until symptoms set in. Lots of H2O is the way to go!