The 5 signs you are dehydrated and what to do if you’re not getting enough H2O
THE coronavirus pandemic has meant that health and well-being is at the top of most people's agendas right now.
Experts say that staying hydrated goes a long way when it comes to keeping your body functioning to its fullest potential.
The NHS recommends that we drink six to eight glasses of fluid a day to keep us from getting dehyrdrated.
Speaking to The Sun, Dr Ellie Cannon said there are a number of ways to stay hydrated and said that drinking enough water contributes to keeping us as healthy as we can be.
Dr Ellie, who is working alongside SodaStream said: "Dehydration is when we haven't taken in enough fluid and when our body is losing a lot of fluids, such as when we are sweating and when we are very hot.
"The balance goes awry – that’s why you end up dehydrated."
But how do you know if you are adequately hydrated? Dr Ellie revealed the five ways to spot if you are dehydrated.
Dr Ellie said that the most classic sign that you are dehydrated is if you're feeling thirsty.
This means that you have simply not replenished your body's water supply.
Most people tend to feel thirsty first thing in the morning or after exercise -after the body losses water.
Dr Ellie said we lose water when we are exercising because of sweat but also because we are breathing faster.
She said: "This can make you more tired and more crampy.
"But don’t just drink when you are exercising: a good way to rehydrate is to drink plenty before you exercise, steadily in the few hours beforehand, as well as during exercise.
"This is especially key in warmer weather."
If you haven't consumed enough water or liquids throughout the day then Dr Ellie says it's likely that you will experience a headache.
Dr Ellie said our new routines post Covid lockdown make it easy for us to forget to stay hydrated.
"Many of us are adapting to different routines or travelling to work in a new way this year.
"If your commute now involves cycling or walking, don’t forget to keep hydrated en route.
"And if you are working from home, it’s important to still stay hydrated through the day as this aids concentration and energy."
One key way to know if you're dehydrated, Dr Ellie says, is if you start to feel dizzy.
The reason you feel dizzy when you are dehydrated is because if you are experiencing severe dehydration then your blood pressure levels could drop.
In turn your brain will not receive enough oxygen – which is why you feel a dizzy sensation.
4. Change in toilet habits
Dr Ellie says that a change in your toilet habits could also mean that you are dehydrated.
She said: "If you're going to the toilet less often and if your urine is darker, this could be a sign that you are dehydrated."
As well as this, Dr Ellie said that if you have been dehydrated for a day or two, then you could experience some constipation.
This is when you struggle to pass stools when going to the toilet.
DR ELLIE’S TOP TIPS TO ENCOURAGE KIDS TO DRINK MORE FLUIDS
Dr Ellie said it can sometimes be a struggle to get kids to consume enough fluids and highlighted her top tips when it comes to getting them to take in more fluids.
Make it fun: Dr Ellie said that products such as SodaStream are a great way to help kids get their recommended amount of fluid as watching the water be transformed with bubbles is a fun activity.
Put simply: "Kids like bubbles", she said.
Talk to them: Kids like to know what's going on and Dr Ellie said educating them on why it's important to drink fluids is a great way to keep them interested.
"Talk to them about why it’s so important – how it helps them think and move properly, how it keeps them cool.
"It needs to be simple health messages for children, so they feel like they aren't just receiving orders and being told what to do.
Personalise it: Dr Ellie said that a great way to encourage kids to drink enough water is if they have their own things to drink it out of.
"Let them chose what water bottle they drink out of and the straw theyuse", Dr Ellie suggested.
5. Dry mouth
Dr Ellie says that when you are dehydrated your whole body is dry and in turn your mouth and lips also become dry.
She added: "We are not all equal when it comes to drinking water; some will need more than others depending on their size, the weather and how active they are.
"It’s even different for men and women: data from the European Food Safety Authority suggests 1.6 litres for women daily, but 2 litres for a man.
"So make sure you know your body and how much water you need, tell tale signs that you haven’t had enough is a dry mouth."
Dr Ellie added that myths around "drinking too much water" are unfounded.
She said most people drink a comfortable amount of water but if you are passing water more than once an hour then it might be too much.
Dr Ellie said: "There are conditions where people do pass too much water – do lose too much.
"These are unusual hormonal conditions to do with how the kidneys work and the hormonal effects on the kidneys."
When it comes to what we drink Dr Ellie said a great way to make sure you get your six to eight glasses a day is to try something different.
She recommended sparkling water for those who think water can be boring, as this she says won't damage the teeth like other fizzy drinks.
"The beauty of sparkling water versus other drinks like Diet Coke is that it is just pure water with bubbles in – no chemicals or additives.
"It's a pure thing to have compared to all of the cans of pop and processed drinks."
She added: "Many people are not so good at drinking plain water – it's lovely and refreshing to have something sparking.
"It's nice to have a change."
Dr Ellie also recommended putting drops of lemon juice in your water to give it more flavour.
"While you do always have to be careful with acidic drinks – a couple of drops of lemon juice in sparkling water won't cause you any issues.
"You would only have problems if you drank this to excess, a couple of drops in 250ml of water is just fine."
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