Whether it’s in a warehouse, on the road, in an office or even at home, we spend over 30% of our day working. From having conference calls, meeting deadlines and doing the everyday tasks, we are all busy and our day sometimes just gets away from us – including doing the things that are important for our own health.
With our bodies consisting of up to 75% water, we constantly crave more as we continue to lose water throughout the day – whether due to our environment, physical activity, our genetic make-up, or through the vapour in the breath we exhale.
Especially in the summer heat, it’s crucial that we remember to drink sufficient quantities of water on a daily basis before our body begins to run on empty. But what happens when we don’t take in the water we should? Our bodies become unbalanced and we become dehydrated.
According to WebMD, “dehydration is a condition that occurs when the loss of body fluids, mostly water, exceeds the amount that is taken in.” Although there are many things that can cause the body to become dehydrated, one of the main reasons is that the body is not getting enough drinking water to replenish the water it’s losing.
Here, at Waterlogic, dehydration is not something we take lightly, so here are some signs of dehydration that you should look out for.
Common symptoms of moderate dehydration
Headache – the brain is surrounded by pockets of fluids that keep it safe within your body. But when those pockets of fluid become depleted, the brain can push on parts of the skull, which in turn can cause headaches.
Low Energy – according to the Centre of Health, “even mild dehydration can cause blood to thicken, forcing the heart to pump harder to carry blood to your cells” and causing you to become fatigued.
Thirst – having the feeling of being thirsty is your body’s reminder that it needs more fluids. But don’t wait until you’re thirsty to replenish your body. Although thirst serves as a reminder, continuing to hydrate your body throughout the day will not only keep you from feeling thirsty, but it will also prevent these other signs of dehydration.
Decreased fluid output– whether you seem to have the inability to sweat, lack tears when crying, or haven’t been to the restroom all day, your body’s inability to produce fluid is another sign of dehydration. Bad Breath – as stated in the Nutrient Reference Values, a joint initiative of the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council and the New Zealand Ministry of Health, “decreased body water has been associated with salivary dysfunction”. Saliva is known for its antibacterial properties, but once the body becomes dehydrated, it won’t be able to produce the saliva needed to fight bad breath.
Be aware of what your body needs
As mentioned before, we can become so busy in our daily lives and during our hectic workdays, that it’s possible for us to not realise that we aren’t properly hydrated, so it's important for us to be aware of what our bodies need. Here are two quick tests:
Check the color of your urine
Although a dark colour of urine can be due to dehydration (or some other medical issues), having urine that is too light in colour isn’t always a good thing either. Make sure to check out the infographic provided by the Continence Foundation of Australia Resource Centres, showing what the colour of your urine says about your health and what colour shows that you’re hydrated.
Test your skin
As recommended by Livestrong.com, pinch the skin on the back of your hand, between your wrist and your fingers, and lift your skin up. Now let go. If the skin falls back down at a slow pace, there’s a chance that your body is in need of some more water.
If you continue to find yourself dehydrated throughout the day, make sure to carry a reusable water bottle with you – especially while you’re at work. Fill up and continue drinking water throughout the day, not just when you’re thirsty. And keep in mind that the more you sweat during the day (due to your environment or physical activity), the more water you should drink to make up for what you’ve lost.