Water is the fluid of life. While many of us have access to clean, on-tap drinking water, not all of us consume the right amount daily. Experts say the average person needs to drink a minimum eight glasses of water each day.
Not consuming enough water can give you headaches, make you dizzy and tired, a chain reaction that will prompt you to take pain medication. Another problem associated with not drinking enough water is the effects it has on your mood.
What to do if you are dehydrated?
The average person ends up drinking only four glasses of water every day, half the recommended quantity. You can tell if you are dehydrated simply by checking your urine. If it is a dark colour, you may be suffering dehydration or not drinking water frequently. Being thirsty constantly is another telltale sign that you may be dehydrated. There are other indications that suggest dehydration. Experts advise checking for physical signs like dark circles under your eyes, or physiological ones like passing stools. Not drinking enough water causes constipation, dry stools and improper bowel movement.
A handy and simple test for dehydration is the ‘pinch test’ so called because it involves pulling or pinching your skin. Pull the skin on the back of your hand. If it goes back to its original position, you’re alright, and likely not dehydrated. If the pulled skin takes a few seconds to go back to its original position, you may be dehydrated.
How can drinking water frequently help you?
The chemical composition of water is such that it helps your body perform a multitude core functions. An article by Medical News Today explains fifteen major benefits of drinking water.
If you are unaware of the benefits of staying hydrated and the ill-effects of dehydration, you might want to know that drinking water frequently:
- helps your skin recover from acne
- reduce the tension in your joints
- Improves your body’s airways, which in turn increases lung capacity, and
- even helps you get over a hangover.
What you can do to drink more water.
- Set a reminder to drink water every 2 hours during the day. It might be a good idea to also track what food you eat daily.
- Get yourself a cool water bottle, and carry it along wherever you go.
- Add chunks of your favourite fruit or flavour to your water.
- Remember to eat juicy foods with high water content: watermelon, strawberry, peach, orange, tomatoes, spinach, cucumber, lettuce, yogurt, soup and skimmed milk.
Water is good for your body and mind. It’s also good for your stomach, helping you digest all the essential or indulgent food that you consume, like that pizza!