The Dangers of Dehydration: 11 signs you're not getting enough water

Summer is almost here, and it's getting hot! As the summer creeps in and you begin spending more time in the heat, it's important to become more aware of your hydration.

60% of our body weight is water, and every system in our body relies on water to function, so staying hydrated- no matter what time of the year- should be your number one priority. But as you step outside and start adding things like heat, and exercise to your routine, then you need to make sure you're replenishing yourself.

But how do you know how much water you should be drinking?

It's probably more than you think. You may have heard the cliché of needing 8 cups of water a day, but it’s actually quite a bit more! The typical adult loses 10 cups of water each day through their normal activities, men commonly loosing more. On average, women should drink at least 10 cups a day, and men should drink at least 15 cups. Drinking any less, or completing activities that make you lose more water, can significantly increase your chances of dehydration.

But don’t worry, this doesn’t mean that you must drink water every second of the day, it just means you need to stay conscious of how much you are drinking and listen to your body when it tells you to drink more.  

Some indicators of dehydration include but are not limited to: 

  • Increase in thirst 

  • Dry mouth  

  • Decrease in urination 

  • Darker yellow color of urine

  • Dry skin 

  • Fatigue or exhaustion 

  • headache

  • Dizziness 

  • Increased heart rate 

  • muscle cramps

  • Fever  

As you head outside this summer to enjoy the day, use the following tips and tricks to make sure you’re drinking enough.  

Bring it with you. If you don’t have water with you, you won’t drink it, so the first step is carrying a water bottle whenever you head out.

Eat water-filled foods. You can supplement some of your water with water-filled foods. Watermelon, honeydew, and cucumbers are perfect snacks. You can also try grapefruit and strawberries, and add tomatoes, spinach, broccoli, and peppers to your meals.

Flavor it. If you don’t like the taste of water, try making it more delicious by flavoring it with fruits and veggies, mint leaves, or sugar-free sweeteners like Crystal Light. And if you like a little bubbly, you can always hydrate with seltzer or sparkling water – those count too.

Add more if you’re moving. If you’re exercising in the heat, you need to drink even more water then your average 10-15 cups. But remember, listen to your body, and you'll know just how much water you need.

Whether you're focused on a long run, stuck inside at work, or just hanging out and relaxing, it can be easy to forget to re-hydrate. If you start focusing on how much water you drink and implementing a system into your daily life, it will be a lot easier to keep yourself safe, hydrated, and always ready for your next workout! Drink at least 10-15 cups of water a day and try to drink a glass of water with every meal and another glass for every cup of coffee, soda, or alcohol you consume.  

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