Feeling bloated, sluggish or moody? You could be dehydrated. Our dietitian decants some cool hydration tricks.
SPOT THE SIGNS
Sweating, urinating and even breathing all cause significant water loss, which is why it’s so important to replace the water each day, or you’ll become dehydrated. In the long term, chronic dehydration can increase your risk of constipation, kidney stones, and urinary tract infections.
By the time youre starting to feel thirsty, you’re probably already dehydrated. But there are plenty of other telltale signs that indicate dehydration — so keep an eye out for the following:
Dark yellow urine
If you’re well-hydrated, your urine should be a very pale straw-yellow color.
Tiredness & lethargy
Don’t reach for a painkiller — a glass of water might be all you need to ease the pain.
Dry & flaky skin
The more you drink, the better the blood supply to your skin for a glowing complexion.
Mood changes & irritability
Let’s face it, drinking enough water can be a challenge — but as the temperature outdoors starts to soar, it becomes even more important. HFG dietitian, Melissa Meier, highlights some of the best ways you can up your HO intake.
Every drop counts
Your body is made up of almost 80 percent water — but here’s the catch. It can’t store water for later use, so you need to constantly replenish it. That’s why water is described as an essential nutrient. Our bodies need water for multiple functions. It gives structure to cells, assists digestion and helps remove waste. It also plays a role in helping ensure our bloodstream stays fluid, as well as keeping our joints healthy. Plus, water is key to regulating our body temperature.
Despite the very important role of water, the average person’s intake is just over 1 liter per day,
which means many of us are falling well short of the recommended 2 liters for females, and 2.6 liters for males. During the warmer months, our water requirements are even greater.
BEAT THE HEAT
YOUR RISK OF DEHYDRATION INCREASES DURING SUMMERTIME BECAUSE:
YOU SWEAT MORE
When it’s hot and humid, your body sweats more as a way to cool you down. That means you need more water, even if your level of physical activity remains unchanged.
YOU MOVE MORE
Warm weather draws us outdoors, which means we’re often moving more. That could include planned exercise, or simply more leisurely activities like a game of backyard cricket and dips in the pool or ocean.
YOU MAY DRINK MORE ALCOHOL
With a summer calendar packed full of festivities, it’s easy to drink more than you usually would. Alcohol leads to frequent urination, which accelerates dehydration.
YOU TEND TO EAT SALTY FOODS
Chips, cheese, and savory crackers are common party fare. These foods are high in sodium, which causes water retention.
YOU HAVE A CHANGE OF ROUTINE
As you relax over summer, it’s common to fall into a less structured routine and misses your usual opportunities for drinking water. On holidays, you might be less likely to drink water because you’re not sitting at your desk with a glass of water next to you.
Fresh herbs & citrus fruits can transform chilled water into a refreshing summer drink — while helping you stay cool & hydrated