Our bodies are mainly made up of water. There’s lots of other things in the mix of course, but the majority of all that other stuff is floating about in around 70% water! How much we require daily to replenish what we’re expelling depends on what we’re doing. Even in the depths of winter we still need to keep hydrated, and on an average day you should be looking at drinking at least 1.5 to 2 litres!
How do you spot the signs of not being hydrated enough? Well in case you hadn’t already realised, your body is an incredible piece of kit – even if we are unkind to it from time to time! There are many ways your body will let you know you need to increase your liquid intake, and according Dr Fereydoon Batmanghelidj in his book “Your Body’s Many Cries for Water“, the causes of many chronic “diseases” is simply dehydration.
So if you’re getting your usual afternoon headache, don’t reach for the paracetamol, instead grab yourself a glass of water, because it just might be your body telling you it’s longing for water. Here are some more of effects of not being hydrated.
If you get to the thirst stage then you are already well into being dehydrated, so get quenching that thirst. However, if you’re still unsure, use your loo trips as your guide. When you’re optimally hydrated you should be going between 4 and 10 times a day! If you’re going less frequently than that, you’re not drinking enough.
Do you ever get foggy brain? Well it might just be dehydration. When you don’t drink enough your brain can’t concentrate. So rather than reaching for a dehydrating espresso, try a glass of water might be a better option!
Did you know that thirst likes to masquerade as hunger? Well it’s a fact because the computer on your shoulders can’t actually distinguish between hunger and thirst. So before going on a fridge raid, it might be your body’s way of saying I need water!
Do you suffer from headaches? Often headaches are a sign that you’re thirsty particularly if you notice this in the afternoon, after a morning of caffeinated coffee or tea. The boffins aren’t quite sure what the correlation of the two is, but studies have shown that those that are regularly hydrated have less headaches.
Lack of energy?
Feeling a bit yucky? Can’t put your finger on why? It might just be that you haven’t drunk enough. Amongst all the other things that are caused by not drinking enough lack of energy is high up there. For every body to function you need to maintain fluid levels. So to cut out the listlessness and lethargy try drinking more!
Dehydration and poor sleep are well documented and being well hydrated before turning in for the night can be the difference between constantly waking up and having a restful night’s sleep. However, don’t drink gallons directly before you go to bed as you will be up all-night peeing. So make sure you have a drink with supper that isn’t alcoholic and one about an hour before you go to be, and see what a difference it makes to your sleeping pattern.
Finally, much like us fruit and veg contain lots of water, so you can enjoy these whilst safe in the knowledge that you’re added to your water and vitamin intake. And if in doubt the key words to remember are “clear” and “copious“. Clear or pale yellow pee means that you’re properly hydrated, and copious means the amount you’re visiting the loo because you’re well hydrated.
Until next time…