Constantly thirsty, fatigued, and suffering headaches can all be the signs of dehydration. To maintain optimal health you need to ensure an adequate intake of fluids daily. Your body requires a certain amount of water daily to maintain essential life giving properties. All your vital organs, and in particular, your kidneys, require water to function. Inadequate fluid supplies will lead to dehydration. The minimum recommended daily water intake is about 8 cups for the average adult. However, many day to day factors can dramatically change your body’s fluid requirements.
Factors to consider:
How much water you really need to drink each day will change with many circumstances. Everybody needs to drink a minimum of 8 cups daily. Indeed, many sources recommend that men drink 13 cups of water daily. These people need to drink more:
The athlete. The more you exercise, the more you sweat. The more you sweat, the more water you need to drink to replace what you have lost. If you are unsure of how much you need to drink after exercising, try this simple trick. Weigh yourself immediately before and after the exercise. The weight you have lost off the scales is what you have lost in fluids. If you have lost 1kg then you will need to drink 1 liter of water (about 4 cups.) This equates roughly to 2 cups of water for every pound lost. The extreme athlete or marathon runner will need to not only replenish their fluids but also their electrolytes. This can be easily achieved by drinking sports drinks enriched with electrolytes such as Gatorade.
Pregnant and nursing mothers. It is important to stay well hydrated while pregnant. It is recommended that pregnant women increase their water intake to 10 cups of fluid daily. Nursing mothers are using enormous amounts of fluids to produce milk. These ladies need to drink 13 cups of fluid daily.
People living in high altitudes and humid climates. People who live in altitudes over 8,200 feet (2 500 meters), will need to up their daily fluid intake,as their breathing becomes more rapid and their urine output is increased. Those who live in hot, humid, or both, environments also need to drink more fluids to replace the extra sweat.
Unwell or feverish. People who are suffering from vomiting and diarrhoea, or fevers, can easily become dehydrated. It is important in these situations to carefully monitor the fluid input. Sucking on ice is one way to keep some fluids down in easy to manage amounts.
Signs of Dehydration:
* dry mouth
* little or no urine output
* thirsty, mild to extreme
* dizzy or light headed
* weakness of muscles
Extreme dehydration is dangerous and can often require a hospital visit for fluids to be administered intravenously.
Easy tips to stay hydrated:
* Take a water bottle with you everywhere. Small sips soon add up.
* Be sure to drink adequate amounts of fluid before, during, and after exercise.
* Drink more on hot days, or when you are out in the sun.
* Serve water with all your meals.
* Have at least 1 glass of water between each meal.
* Remember that there is water in all beverages that you consume. Milk, juice, soda, tea, coffee, and even beer and wine, do contain varying amounts of water. Remember though, that tea, coffee, and alcohol, all act as diuretics, so too much of these and you could dehydrate yourself.
Water is essential to life. Consuming adequate amounts of water will contribute to glowing skin and a sense of vitality. Water is cheap, healthy, and calorie free. Reach for a glass now.