Every organ, cell and tissue in the body depends on proper hydration.
When it’s warm, your body perspires more to help you cool down. Depending on the temperature, humidity and the type of activity, you might not even realize how much you are perspiring. We also lose body fluid through urination, breathing and bowel movements.
The typical fluid recommendation for staying hydrated is eight glasses of water per day for average activity. Exercise and illness increase the fluid requirements. Know the early signs of dehydration (not having enough water in the body) to prevent further physical symptoms
Early symptoms of dehydration are:
- infrequent urination
- dark urine
- dry mouth
- sleepiness or fatigue
Chronic dehydration can lead to:
- formation of stones (ex: gallstones)
Severe dehydration can lead to:
- muscle cramps
- irregular heartbeat
- And even death.
Severe dehydration can create a medical emergency.
Being thirsty is a good sign that you need to drink some fluids. However, your body needs water even before you experience thirst. One of the best ways to check your hydration is to check your urine color. Clear to light yellow (straw colored) urine usually means you are adequately hydrated. Darker yellow urine (color of apple juice) is a sign that you need to increase your fluid intake. Water is the best choice. If plain water isn’t your thing, try adding lemon or lime juice/slices to your water.
Tips to avoid dehydration:
- Drink a glass of water when you wake up and before you go to bed.
- Keep a bottle of water with you and sip throughout the day.
- Drink water before you exercise, during exercise and after exercise.
- When planning an outdoor activity, drink about two glasses of water 1-2 hours before the activity to make sure you are well hydrated before you get started.
- Eat fruits and vegetables that naturally hold water (citrus fruits, watermelon, lettuce, and tomatoes).
If you drink alcohol, pair an 8-ounce glass of water with every drink you consume.