Water and hydration always seem to be a hot topic when our summers days get warmer. Learn how you can stay hydrated and healthy with these tips.
Signs of dehydration:
- Feeling thirsty. It’s important to point out that once you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated.
- Fatigue, low energy or feeling tired.
- Dry mouth or cracked lips.
- Urinating less often or having darker yellow urine. A rule of thumb is your urine should look more like lemonade than apple juice!
- Feeling dizzy or lightheaded.
- Sunken look to your eyes.
- In babies/children, they might also stop making tears.
How much water per day should you have?
- On average, eight 8 oz. glasses per day. That is 64 oz. which is almost 2 liters! So I tell patients to think about how big a 2 liter bottle of water is and that is about how much water you should be drinking throughout a day.
- However keep in mind that the amount of water needed can vary depending on your age, medical conditions, weight and activity level. It is a good idea to check with your doctor to be sure you don’t over or under do it.
Tips for staying hydrated:
- Stay on top of it. Once you get dehydrated it is much harder to keep up.
- Drink a glass of water before you start eating each meal. This will help with hydration, but also help you feel fuller more quickly, therefore eat less which is helpful especially when people are trying to lose weight.
- Also get in the habit of drinking a glass of water in the morning after you wake up and at night before you go to bed. This gets in about another 16 ounces of water per day.
- Always carry a water bottle full of water around with you as you will be more likely to drink it if you have it with you at all times.
- Get an app! There are many app’s for the smart phones to help you keep track of your water intake.
- If you don’t like water, add fresh fruit to flavor it. Get creative and go beyond lemons. Try strawberries, blueberries, melons, cucumbers or other things that sound appealing to you.
- Weigh yourself pre and post workouts. For every pound you lose you need to drink about 16 oz. of water.
What should you do if you are dehydrated?
- Start increasing your water intake. If you are dehydrated it will take even more than the standard 64 oz. per day to catch up.
- Drink sports drinks in addition to water to provide electrolytes.
- Try to avoid further loses if possible. Limit sweating.
- Eat foods that are rich in water content such as watermelon.
- If dehydration is severe, you may need IV fluids to get re-hydrated.
- You may need to stop certain medications such as diuretics or water pills. However please check with your doctor before stopping any medications.