Dehydration is common, especially in the Middle East during the summer months! Not only is the heat a major problem for those spending time outdoors but, other factors, such as air conditioning and dust, contribute to dehydration, too. Avoiding dehydration is important for every single function of your body, and the consequences of long-term dehydration, can be catastrophic.
What are the signs, and symptoms of dehydration?
Water is an essential component for every organ, cell, and tissue within the body, it is also used within the blood to transport nutrients to the cells and remove waste from the body. Our bodies consist of more than 50% water and a drop of only 2% can cause dehydration. If you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. The thirst reflex deteriorates as we age, so if you’re 50 or above, don’t rely on your thirst response as a gauge. Dehydration causes headaches, fatigue, brain fog, headaches, moodiness, disorientation and/or weakness. Don’t ever let yourself get to this point.
How much should I be drinking?
Being dehydrated can slow your metabolism down by as much as 3% however, staying hydrated increases the body’s ability to burn fat. To be hydrated you should be drinking 0.033x body weight (kg) per day, for example if a person weighed 70kg they would need 2.3L (0.033x 70= 2.3L).
Over hydration can also become a problem, no more than 800-1000ml should be drunk per hour. Drinking too much water can lead to the level of salt in the blood dropping too low. A lack of salt can lead to nausea, muscle cramps or headaches, to help replenish the loss salt, try drinking a sports drink or a coconut water to help.
What type of water you should be drinking?
Water is used as the primary cleansing agent to help flush out toxins from within the body. When drinking water, you should try and stick to quality, filtered, chlorine-free water to stay healthy. Water should be stored in either a glass or BPA free plastic bottle/container to avoid contamination from outside pollutants.
Andrea’s Top Tips
- Keep a water bottle with you at all times
- Drink at regular intervals throughout the day, don’t guzzle it all at once
- Try infusing your water lemon, lime or other fruits to add flavour
- Use an app on your phone, to track the amount of water you drink
- Minimise caffeine, alcohol, and sugary drinks, especially on hot days
- Remember to drink water during or after a workout, to replenish water lost from sweat