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Understanding Body Signals that You Might Be Dehydrated

How do you know when you’re hydrated?

Signs of dehydration include light-headedness, headaches, dry mouth/eyes, constipation, and having very concentrated urine. Keeping a bottle of water in your bag, work desk or bedside table can often be a good visual reminder to drink more water.

On average, an adult should have roughly two litres of water every day. During the warmer months, you should drink roughly two and a half litres. Sticking with water is the best way to stay hydrated. You can change it up by adding some fresh fruit, like cucumber, for added flavour and or other unsweetened beverages. Sugar and caffeine have dehydrating effects.

Sometimes people want some variety in their beverages throughout the day. One healthy and satisfying option includes non-caffeinated tea.


Are you at risk of dehydration?

Some individuals are at higher risk of becoming dehydrated easier, including:

Additionally, children can be at risk for dehydration when they are playing outside. It’s important for parents to make time for water breaks so that children can stay hydrated when playing outside in the sun during the warmer months.

Chronic health issues or not, hydration is not just about the water you consume, it’s a balance between water and salt. Too much water can wipe out the concentration gradient, leading to a hyponatremic state, which is when the level of sodium in the blood is too low. Having a balanced diet can help to avoid this.


Benefits of staying hydrated

Staying hydrated keeps your body in balanced homeostasis. About 60% of the human body is made up of water, and the body is made up of all different kinds of cells. Each cell contains water, and they perform best when they are filled with water. Forcing your body to work while dehydrated can lead to a stressed system.

If you are constantly reaching for water while exercising, that’s a sign that your body doesn’t have enough water to perform at the highest level. Focusing on hydration before a workout can help you fill the tank and can lead to better performance and recovery.

Source: Hackensack Meridian Health

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