Most of us don’t drink enough water and are often dehydrated without even realising. The human body is about 60% water and water is needed for all organs, tissues and cells to regulate temperature and for our body to function optimally. Not drinking enough can therefore inevitably lead to various issues and being in a state of dehydration on a daily basis can make us feel rubbish! By the time we have a dry mouth and feel thirsty we are already in a state of dehydration which is why we should drink water regularly throughout the day. Here are some signs that you may be chronically dehydrated:
Dark coloured urine
Yellow looking pee is a sign that the urine is holding waste. Water helps flush out this waste efficiently. You’ll notice often that urine is often darker on a morning which is why we need to drink water first thing. Hydrated healthy urine should be a light straw colour.
Regular pounding headaches are often a sure sign of dehydration. When we lose water, blood volume falls which means less oxygen flowing to the brain, hence the headaches. So before reaching for the headache tablets have some water.
We need water to keep the skin hydrated and supple. Dehydrated skin can lead to a dry cracked appearance, especially around the eyes. When you pinch the skin, it should bounce back quickly, if this takes time this may mean you are dehydrated.
Water helps fibre do its job properly and helps to move food waste out of the body. If we don’t drink enough water our system can get ‘clogged’. If you are constipated try upping your water intake and see if that helps.
If you eat sufficiently through the day but still feel peckish constantly, this can be a sign of dehydration. The body easily confuses dehydration for hunger.
Water is needed to help regulate blood pressure, and so if we are lacking in water this can result in lowered blood pressure and lowered oxygen in the blood. Lack of oxygen means less efficient muscle, nerve and brain function making us lethargic and sleepy!
How much water should we drink?
As a rule of thumb, we should try to drink 2 litres per day. This might vary depending on your environment, activity levels, body size etc. If you really don’t like drinking water, try adding fruit to the water or have a very diluted squash drink. in addition try eating more fruits that have a high water content such as melon, oranges and strawberries. Ultimately however water is king for keeping hydrated!