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How to Spot Dehydration & Increase Your Water Intake

Did you know that by the time we feel thirsty, we are often already dehydrated?

And since our fluid levels affect our brain function, our ability to control our temperature, pulse, blood pressure, digestion and millions of other functions, it’s something to take seriously.

Common Ways We Lose Water

There are many ways we lose water throughout the day. It’s important to be mindful of these to ensure you’re adequately replenishing your body with water.

  • Perspiration (which increases dramatically when exercising)
  • Urination (self-explanatory)
  • Breathing (you expel a little water with every breath).  We’ve all become acutely aware of this since CoVid!
  • Stress (impacts hormones that regulate fluid levels)
  • Many drugs and some herbal remedies (particularly those used to combat fluid retention)
  • Breastfeeding (breastfeeding requires an additional 2 cups of water per day)
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (or other gastrointestinal upset)

The Top Signs of Dehydration

If you experience any of the following symptoms, dehydration may be playing a role:

Excessive thirst and dry mouth are usually the most obvious signs of dehydration and are signals that should not be ignored.

Dark urine is another sign of dehydration. When well-hydrated, your urine should be pale yellow, like straw.

Fatigue is a common symptom that has many different causes, but you may be surprised to hear that dehydration can be one.

Dry, flaky skin is a sign of long-term dehydration. Drinking plenty of water keeps the blood supply to your skin flowing, resulting in a healthy complexion.

Headaches are another very common sign of dehydration, so try drinking a glass of water next time you feel one coming on.

Rarely being thirsty…  when someone is chronically dehydrated, they stop recognizing the signs of dehydration and rarely experience the sensation of thirst.

When You’re Bored with Water…

It’s important to drink several glasses of water each day, but if drinking another glass sounds overwhelming, try adding more of these water-rich foods to your diet:

  • Watermelon
  • Strawberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Oranges
  • Cucumber
  • Lettuce
  • Broth
  • Zucchini
  • Celery
  • Tomatoes

You can also make water more appealing by infusing it with sliced fruit for a refreshing taste.  Wash and cut up some of your favourites ahead of time to add to your water.  Most people on a typical SAD diet (Standard American Diet), tend to be acidic.  Although it may seem counter-intuitive, adding a slice of lemon to your water helps counteract that and will have many additional health benefits.

Hydrate for Health

Don’t underestimate the power of water. It’s essential to all of our body’s systems and drinking enough is an easy way to help them function properly.

Have you had a glass of water recently? Go grab one now!

*Source: HealhyFoodGuide.com.au

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