Dehydration

Now that summer has arrived it is extremely important that we drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Water is essential to human life. It forms the basis for all body fluids, including blood and digestive juices; it aids in the transportation and absorption of nutrients; and it helps eliminate waste. Dehydration occurs when you lose more fluid than you take in, and your body doesn’t have enough water and other fluids to carry out its normal functions. If you don’t replenish lost fluids, you may suffer serious consequences.

How much water should I be drinking?

This varies for each person depending on their fitness level, muscle percentage, physical activity, work type and conditions. However, the rough guide is around two litres per day (10 cups/ 8 glasses).

The key to keeping hydrated!

The main point of hydration is that your fluid intake is consistent so that your body is never starved of water at any one time. Therefore be sure to drink water regularly throughout the day rather than drinking your 8 glasses all at one time.

But if I drink lots of water I have to go to the toilet a lot, why?

If you have decided to increase your water intake, then yes your body needs time to adjust to the increase and start to absorb the water into the cells. This will take approximately two weeks.

Symptoms of Dehydration

Mild to moderate dehydration is likely to cause:

  • Dry, sticky mouth
  • Sleepiness or tiredness
  • Thirst
  • Decreased urine output
  • Few or no tears when crying
  • Muscle weakness
  • Headaches, dizziness or lightheadedness

Unfortunately, thirst isn’t always a reliable gauge of the body’s need for water. It is actually, our body’s last chance against warning you that you’re dehydrated. A better barometer is the colour of your urine: Clear or light-coloured urine means you’re well hydrated, whereas a dark yellow or amber colour usually signals dehydration. See the urine colour chart for guidance.urinecolorchart

Be aware! If you are taking single vitamin supplements or a multi-vitamin supplement, some of these vitamins can change the colour of your urine for a few hours making it bright yellow or discoloured

What drinks don’t count as one of the ten glasses?

  • Tea (unless herbal)
  • Coffee
  • Soft drinks
  • Energy drinks

 

Article sponsored by Health International

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Article by Kristy Delport. Kristy is a Zimbabwe and South Africa registered Biokineticist. You can contact her using email or phone at  delportbiokinetics@gmail.com and 0775 463 191.

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