Have you been feeling a lot more thirsty than usual of late? Do you feel that your trips to the washroom have suddenly become lesser? Does your skin feel too dry? Well, if these signs seem familiar to you, you are certainly not hydrated enough. When your body loses large amounts of fluids (mainly water) and this loss is higher than the amount of fluid intake, it is known as dehydration.
With major amounts of fluid loss, the body also loses its ability to function efficiently. Though dehydration is more common in newborns and children, even adults and the elderly people can face dehydration at any given point of time.
What causes dehydration?
In adults, the possible causes of dehydration include drinking very little water on a daily basis, too much exercise, overexposure to heat, vomiting and diarrhea, chronic conditions like diabetes, infections and skin injuries wherein there’s a loss of water through damaged skin.
On the other hand, in babies, their inability to suck sufficient breast milk or formula milk is the prime cause of dehydration.
How does dehydration occur?
Primarily, our bodies tend to lose fluids like water, electrolytes, and salts, in the form of urine and sweat. In fact, the moisture in our breaths contain water vapour as well. With our constant intake of water and other fluids, there’s a well-maintained balance between the fluid loss and fluid intake. However, when this balance is disrupted, dehydration comes to the fore.
Categorically, dehydration is divided into three types: Mild, moderate, and severe. While the first two can be taken care of with the intake of oral fluids like water, salt, and electrolytes, severe dehydration needs further treatment as it can cause more complications if not treated on time.
Symptoms of dehydration:
Before we delve into the tips that can help us deal with dehydration, let’s quickly understand some of the most common symptoms associated with dehydration:
- Dry mouth
- Increases thirst
- Dry skin or reduced skin elasticity
- Decreased urine output
- Urine that looks yellowish than normal
- Headache and dizziness
Top tips to deal with dehydration
In case you feel like you are not hydrated enough or someone close to you is displaying symptoms of dehydration, these tips will definitely come in handy:
Increase your water intake
Make sure to drink at least 2-3 liters of water on a daily basis. In case you suffer from chronic conditions like kidney disease, your doctor will give you the exact amount of food and fluid intake that you should abide by. When you have a fever, you must consume eight to 10 cups of fluids without fail.
Drink fluids that contain electrolytes
Dehydration meddles with the body’s electrolyte balance. So, make sure you drink fluids that are loaded with electrolytes. Some of the healthiest drinks that contain electrolytes include coconut water, watermelon juice, cow’s milk, as well as sports drink.
A balanced diet is a must
Your diet should contain a fine blend of vegetables and fruits. They contain sufficient amounts of vitamins, salt, and water, and can help in preventing as well as managing dehydration.
Follow a health routine when you workout
Drink at least one full glass of water at least an hour before you start exercising. Drink at least half a glass of water between every 15 to 20 minutes that you exercise. Once you’re done with the workout, drink sufficient amount of water again.
Keep a watch on the color of your urine
When your urine looks clear—you have done a good job with keeping yourself well-hydrated. However, if the color is more on the yellowish side, it’s your body’s way of telling you that you need to increase your fluid intake.
Avoid skipping meals
Your meals not just fill your tummy but also contribute to your daily fluid intake. Skipping your meals means losing out on adequate fluids.
So, the next time you feel you’re not hydrated enough, make sure you follow these tips religiously. Let us know in the comments below how you manage to keep yourself hydrated.