Dehydration is the absence of a sufficient amount of water in your body. The best way to beat dehydration is to drink before you get thirsty. If you’re thirsty, you’re already mildly dehydrated, and that can cause symptoms like headache, fatigue, dizziness and more. Water helps:
- Aid digestion and get rid of waste.
- Work your joints. Water lubricates them.
- Make saliva (which you need to eat).
- Balance your body’s chemicals. Your brain needs it to create hormones and neurotransmitters.
- Deliver oxygen all over your body.
- Cushion your bones.
- Regulate your body temperature.
Causes of Dehydration
Dehydration happens due the following factors –
- Inadequate water intake
- When you lose water quickly like sweating, vomiting and/or diarrhea
- Certain medications such as diuretics (water pills)
Signs of Dehydration
Signs of dehydration include:
- Headache, delirium, confusion.
- Tiredness (fatigue).
- Dizziness, weakness, light-headedness.
- Dry mouth and/or a dry cough.
- High heart rate but low blood pressure.
- Loss of appetite but maybe craving sugar.
- Flushed (red) skin. Swollen feet. Muscle cramps.
- Heat intolerance, or chills.
- Dark-colored pee (urine). Your pee should be a pale clear color.
To avoid dehydration, active people – people playing a sport or exercising – should drink at least 16 to 20 ounces of fluids one to two hours before an outdoor activity.
Keep track of how much fluid you drink. Drink water throughout the day, including at meals. Avoid soda, alcohol and caffeinated drinks. One way to make sure you are properly hydrated is to check your urine. If it’s clear, pale or straw-coloured, it’s OK. If it’s darker than that, keep drinking!