You’ve probably already heard the warnings about drinking enough water when the temperature rises. But your body needs an adequate supply of water no matter what the temperature. Even in cooler temperatures, you should make sure you’re getting enough water. Dry outside temperatures and heated indoor environments evaporate moisture from your skin and contribute to fluid loss.
Most medical professionals recommend drinking eight glasses of water during an average day. On hot days, or days when you’re exceptionally active, you should probably drink more water. And it is especially important to drink water before, during and after exercise.
Not sure if you’re getting enough water? Take the following quiz:
- Do you feel tired even though you’ve had plenty of rest?
- Do you easily lose your concentration throughout the day?
- Are your feet, hands or ankles swollen?
- Do you cramp up during exercise despite having stretched beforehand?
- Do you feel thirsty
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you may be suffering from dehydration. And dehydration can lead to such problems as fatigue, impaired physical ability, weakness, dizziness, headaches as well as other ailments.
These are also signs of dehydration:
- Dry mouth
- Marked thirst
- Infrequent urination
- Dark yellow urine
- Sunken eyes
- Skin lacking elasticity
Don’t wait until you feel thirsty to have a drink. Doctors recommend drinking before you get thirsty. In fact, by the time you feel thirsty, you are probably already dehydrated. Try to avoid caffeine and alcoholic beverages which act as diuretics. And avoid iced beverages after strenuous activity. Many people choose to quench their thirst in hot weather with icy drinks; however, ice actually causes blood vessels to shrink, limiting how quickly fluids can be absorbed into the body. For rapid fluid replenishment, drink beverages that are closer to room temperature.
Although you do get water from the foods you eat, drinking water is your best for staying hydrated. It contains no fat, calories or caffeine. And it is absorbed quickly into the body since it doesn’t contain any sugar to slow down the absorption process.
So sit back, relax and have a nice drink of water. If you have additional questions about dehydration contact your doctor.