The signs of chronic dehydration and how to combat it
Chronic dehydration is more common than most people think. The symptoms present themselves as a myriad of illnesses that could’ve been prevented by drinking fluids regularly. The symptoms can include constant headaches, dizziness, lethargy, fluctuating blood pressure and weight gain.
What’s more, the long term condition increases the risk of many life-threatening diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. It also plays a role in premature aging, as our skin relies on water to remain healthy. Water is absolutely vital to our bodies, which consist of about 60% H2O. It’s essential for brain and nerve function and helps regulate temperatures, assist in digestion and get rid of toxins.
It’s easy to forget to drink water, especially when you’re busy with work or on the road. Depending on individual lifestyles, health requirements and the climate, water needs may differ from person to person, but they still need to drink an adequate amount to stay healthy.
Below are a few tips to help you remain hydrated during the day.
Track your water intake
This is easy to do. You just need to mark your water bottle with the time of day you should drink water. This should correspond with the bottle’s measurement lines (e.g. 1litre/7am, 800ml/8am, 600ml/9am). By 8am, for instance, you should have consumed 200mls and another 200mls by the next hour.
Eat foods with a high water content
There are plenty of foods that can supplement your daily intake of water.
Foods like cucumbers, pineapples, grapefruits, tomatoes and celery, have a very high water content and can contribute towards your water intake for the day.
In addition, essential fatty acids from fish, nuts or omega 3 supplements and minerals help get water where it’s supposed to be in your body and keep it
there. This keeps you hydrated at a cellular level as minerals help transport water to your cells.
Spice up your water
Many people dislike the taste of water. What’s more, branded flavoured options are loaded with artificial ingredients and sugar. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have other avenues, as you can easily make your own healthy, flavoured water with fruit. All you need to do is simply slice your choice of fruit and put it in your water bottle or jug and refill with water as you drink. You can even buy bottles with special compartments to insert your fruits.
Here are some flavour ideas to help you drink more water:
- For a refreshing and hydrating drink, try cutting up some lemons and cucumbers – you can even add fresh mint leaves to add some zest.
- If you love citrus, use sliced oranges and grapefruit.
- For something a little sweeter, try slicing some strawberries and blueberries. Apples or kiwis also add a light, fruity taste to your water.
- When flu season is approaching and you want to boost your immune system, use lemons, sliced fresh ginger and a little bit of honey to sweeten your water.
- If herbal tea is your thing, keep a chamomile or green tea bag in your bottle, along with a few pieces of fruit.