Drinking water is essential to staying healthy. It helps regulate body temperature and flush out toxins. People sometimes neglect to drink enough water throughout the day, but it’s vital to do so. Here’s how to recognise the signs of being dehydrated and some ways you can drink more water.
How to Tell if You’re Dehydrated
Women need to drink about 11.5 cups of fluids daily and men need about 15.5 or risk dehydration. Here are some signs to look out for.
1. You’re Really Thirsty
One of the simplest ways to tell if you’re dehydrated is extreme thirst, which is a sign you’re heading toward dehydration. Your blood is more concentrated when this happens, causing your kidneys to retain water. This can lead to less urination and an increased heart rate. Also, you are at risk of exhaustion or fainting.
2. You Have Problems With Urination
While drinking more water may seem like it causes more urination, the opposite is true. Your body is made up of 60% water, and when you’re dehydrated, you lose fluids faster than you can replace them. Therefore your kidneys hold in the liquids, causing you to urinate less frequently. In addition, your pee may be a darker color.
3. You’re Tired
Feeling tired interferes with your everyday functioning by reducing alertness. Also, it can make you more irritable, which can negatively impact your relationships. Your blood pressure drops when you’re thirsty, and there is decreased blood flow to your brain. The lowered brain activity can make you feel sleepy.
4. You Feel Dizzy
Dizziness can lead to potential injury when moving around, so drinking plenty of water is good for your safety. When you’re dehydrated, there is less blood circulation, which lowers your blood pressure and prevents blood flow to your brain. This then leads to feelings of lightheadedness.
5. You’re More Irritated
Being dehydrated leads to mood swings and headaches. Also, the reduced blood flow can make it difficult to concentrate and think clearly, leading to confusion, fatigue and depression. It’s essential to get enough water to maintain a positive attitude throughout the day. Irritability can impact your professional and personal relationships.
How To Drink More Water
After you identify you’re dehydrated, it’s vital to find strategies to increase your water intake. Here are a few things to try.
1. Know Your Fluid Needs
One way to drink more water is knowing how much your body needs. Many people look up broad recommendations online, but this is just the start. Everybody’s needs are different, so talk with your doctor about the right amount for you.
Get recommendations based on activity level, location and health status. For example, if you’re more active or live in a hot climate, you’ll need more water than others.
2. Set Goals
Another way to motivate yourself to drink more water is through goal setting. For example, tell yourself you will drink two glasses of water with every meal. Set SMART goals that are specific, measurable, attainable and time-bound. Also, record your progress each day to make sure you’re on track.
3. Carry A Reusable Water Bottle
A reusable water bottle makes it easier to drink more water throughout the day. Keep it by your work desk and carry it around when running errands or traveling. Plus, it’s also a good visual reminder to drink more fluids.
Drinking more water can keep your skin clear as well. Besides being good for your health, reusable water bottles benefit the environment. Plastic ones end up in landfills and can take years to break down.
4. Replace Sugary Drinks With Water
Try to replace your favorite beverages, such as sodas, with water. They contain higher sugar levels, which can lead to obesity or diabetes. Just be sure you are drinking uncontaminated water. For example, pesticides for lawn care can lead to water pollution, so get a testing kit from your local home improvement store.
5. Create Reminders
You can use an alarm to set reminders to consume water at certain times during the day. You can even schedule drink breaks into your calendars. Setting these reminders can hold you accountable and are good for busier people who forget to drink. You can even use a smartphone app, such as Daily Water Tracker Reminder.
Drink To Your Health
Water is essential for a fully functional body and brain. You may be dehydrated if you feel thirsty or tired, so do what you can to make sure you’re getting enough to remain healthy.
Jane is an environmental writer and the founder and editor-in-chief of Environment.co where she covers sustainability and eco-friendly living.