How do I know if I am dehydrated?


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5 signs you are still not drinking enough

Chances are at this time of year you are more likely to reach for a hot Latte than you are your water bottle but regardless of the lower temperatures the human body still needs plenty of fluid to keep hydrated and the body’s systems running optimally. While we often consider thirst to be a sign that we need to drink more water, the truth is that thirst is a relatively weak reflex, and we are already dehydrated by the time our thirst kicks in. So as we move into the more chilly months of the year, here are some of the other signs you may be dehydrated and need to drink more at this time of year.

1. Your mouth not tasting great

When we do not drink enough, overall we produce less saliva and as a result bacteria is more likely to build up in the mouth, resulting in bad breath. So if you are regularly reaching for the mints and gum to keep your mouth fresh, it may be time to reach for your water bottle.

2. Your skin is dry

All cells of our body need water to maintain optimal fluidity, but as skin cells are one of the most rapidly replaced cells, dry skin can be a good reminder that our water intake is less than adequate, especially at this time of year. And if cold water when it is cold outside is not your thing, don’t forget about herbal tea which can be another great way to hydrate the skin but also offer various antioxidants and herbals which are too good for the skin.

Hydration plays a major role on how you perform through the day, both at home and at work. Read more here.

3. Your body is sore

When our body is not recovering from training we are quick to think about the protein and electrolytes we are not getting to refuel from our workouts but we less frequently consider that the underlying issue may be not drinking enough. Water is required for muscle cell contraction and cell recovery just as protein, magnesium and salts are. So if you work out regularly keep in mind you need at least 500ml of extra water for every hour of training you do.

4. You get headaches

In modern life we are quick to look for a Panadol to dull a pressing headache and to blame screens and sore necks for a sore head but the truth is that our heads are one of the first things to suffer when we are dehydrated as the fluid that supports the brain within the skull will be reduced if the amount of fluid is our body is low. For this reason our first step when we have a headache should be to ready for the water bottle.

5. You are craving sugar

Dehydration can play havoc with blood glucose regulation, triggering the need to eat more, especially sweet foods. Often we interpret this craving as a need to eat when really we just need to drink more. The easiest way to control your cravings on a daily basis is to ensure you consume at least 300-500ml of water or herbal tea with each meal or snack.

Susie is currently a brand ambassador for Zip. Read more about her partnership with Zip here.

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