Are You Drinking Enough Water?

 Are You Drinking Enough Water?

Your body needs water to function and are your drinking enough water? Below are 13 Symptoms of dehydration to help you determine if you are!

We are mostly water - approximately 75% - and keeping the body adequately hydrated is crucial as the body needs water to function.

So What does that mean?

It doesn't take much to become dehydrated as dehydration occurs when the amount of water leaving the body is greater than the amount we take in. We lose water when we breathe, sweat, urinate or have bowel movements therefore, everyday a person has to drink enough water to replace this loss.

The majority of people are dehydrated and the young and elderly are particularly at risk.  It may surprise you that the minimum recommended amount is half your body weight in ounces.

 Are You Drinking Enough Water?

Dr. Batmanghelidj's books "You're Not Sick, You're Thirsty!" and "Your Body's Many Cries for Water" are based on more than twenty years of clinical and scientific research into the role of water in the body.

Surprisingly, dehydration does much more than make you thirsty and by the time you have symptoms you are well into being dehydrated.  Learning to recognize the symptoms of dehydration and consciously make an effort to drink enough for your body can help.

 Are You Drinking Enough Water?

Here are 13 of the many symptoms of dehydration ... some may be reminders and and some may surprise you...

1. Fatigue

In a dehydrated condition, your heart has to work harder to keep the skin and muscles supplied with oxygen and nutrients. "When you're dehydrated your blood pressure drops, heart rate increases, blood flow to the brain slows -- all of which can make you tired," says Luga Podesta, MD, sports medicine specialist at Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles, California.

2. Infrequent urination; Dark coloured urine

Both indicate dehydration because the kidneys which filter waste, instruct your body to retain water and as a result there is less water passed and the urine becomes more concentrated and darker than usual.

3. Muscle cramps

A lack of water causes less blood circulation which can make your muscles cramp up, says Ray Casciari, MD, medical director of the La Amistad Family Health Center in Orange, California. "The body will protect its vital organs, so it shifts fluid away from muscles and anything that's not vital," he says.

4. Headache

When dehydrated, a headache acts as your body's alarm system warning you that your body's natural balance is altered.

5. Dizziness or light headedness

When dehydrated your body does not have the potential to direct enough blood to your brain which can make you dizzy.

6.  Constipation

Your body needs water to keep things moving through your colon.  When you are not getting enough water, your body compensates by withdrawing more fluid from stool and directs it to your blood stream, making it harder and more difficult to pass.

7. Foggy thinking and poor concentration

Dehydration may affect your ability to take on mental tasks and cause you to feel foggy headed, according to a study from the British Journal of Nutrition.

8. Driving errors

New research published in Physiology and Behavior shows that the number of driving errors doubled during a two-hour drive when drivers were dehydrated versus hydrated—an effect similar to driving while drunk (defined by most states as .08% blood alcohol). Since often people purposely avoid drinking prior to a long road trip to prevent bathroom stops, dehydration could increase the risk of traffic accidents.

9. Mood swings; Irritability

Dehydration causes changes in electrolyte balances in the blood that can directly affect mood and emotions.

10. Hunger ; sugar cravings

Being hungry and even sugar cravings can be a sign of dehydration.

11. Dry skin/lips

Dehydration affects your skin's elasticity and resilience.   A neat tip to test if your skin is dehydrated: pinch your skin and if it appears thin and does not melt back into the body quickly, then you are likely dehydrated.

 Are You Drinking Enough Water?

12. Bad breath

When dehydrated the saliva production in your mouth reduces, causing an overgrowth of bacteria which can result in bad breath.

13. Chills

"This occurs because your body starts to limit blood flow to the skin," says Dr. Podesta,MD, sports medicine specialist at Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles, California. In addition, water holds heat, so if you become dehydrated it can be more difficult to regulate your body temperature, which can make you become chilled faster, even when you're not in a cold environment.

 Are You Drinking Enough Water?

it is vital to drink adequate amount of water daily before you experience symptoms!!

However, in learning to recognize the symptoms of dehydration and consciously making an effort to drink more when you do, then you can help to alleviate the mildest symptoms before they become serious and life-threatening!

You have probably heard 8 glasses a day... well that is not far off depending on your weight and if they are 500 ml glasses.  Rule of thumb is 1/2 your body weight in ounces per day!  Minimum!

To your health,