Everything You Need To Know About Staying Hydrated: Straight From An Expert
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Don’t wait until you notice symptoms of dehydration, to take action. Actively prevent dehydration by drinking plenty of water.
There’s so much of information available to us, when it comes to pursuing health, we often find ourselves getting lost in the details. In such cases, going back to the basics, can have the most profound impact on how we feel.
Case in point: hydration!
“Drink enough fluids” may not be the sexiest message you read today, but it perhaps is one of the most important messages. Let me explain why?
1. Water Helps Prevent and Relieve Constipation: Truth be told, if your day doesn’t start right – you’re going to be irritable throughout the day! Dehydration of the colon is one of the major reasons why people experience dry, pebbly stool or no stool at all for one or more days in a row.
2. Water Prevents and Alleviates Joint Pain: Joints are like the hinges that keep bones connected and cartilage is the smooth connective tissue between joints that cushions and helps them move easily. Water plays a vital role in keeping these joints lubricated and also in removing waste that builds up. When there isn’t adequate water in your body, you are more likely to experience arthritis-type pain and inflammation when you move.
3. Water Makes Your Skin Look Healthy: Your skin is your largest body organ and is made up of about 65% water. Dehydration can result in dry, flaky and sometimes wrinkled looking skin. Many of my clients have also reported reduction in acne/inflammation with increased water intake.
Some people are at higher risk of dehydration, including people who exercise at a high intensity (or in hot weather) for too long, have certain medical conditions (kidney stones, bladder infection), are sick (fever, vomiting, diarrhoea), pregnant or breastfeeding; are trying to lose weight, or are not able to get enough fluids during the day. Older adults are also at higher risk. As you get older, your brain may not be able to sense dehydration. It doesn’t send signals for thirst.
Don’t wait until you notice symptoms of dehydration, to take action. Actively prevent dehydration by drinking plenty of water. Here are some very useful tips to help you drink more water:
1. Make it tasty: Try filling a pitcher with filtered water and add your favorite fruit and/or herbs. (cucumber and mint or orange rinds and lemon are my personal favourites). Let the flavors infuse overnight or use an infuser water bottle.
2. Have a glass of water handy: Keep a glass of water at your work desk or at home. For many, if water is out of sight, it is out of mind. Having a visual reminder can prompt you to sip throughout the day.
3. Eat more vegetables: They contain up to 80% water and are loaded with vitamins, minerals and fibre.
4. Drink water, when hungry: Thirst is often confused with hunger. True hunger will not be satisfied by drinking water. Drinking water may also contribute to a healthy weight-loss plan.
At last, these are some of the common indicators of dehydration to watch out for:
- little or no urine.
- urine that is darker than usual.
- dry mouth.
- sleepiness or fatigue.
- extreme thirst.
- dizziness or lightheadedness.
- no tears when crying.
Dhriti Udeshi is a Fitness Trainer and Nutrition Consultant. She is also a health council member at healthhunt.