Are You Getting Enough Water?
Did you know that approximately 60% of your body is made up of water? Every bodily function from digesting food to breathing depends on your body having enough. As we go throughout the day, there are lots of things that can cause your body to lose water. Sweating, urinating, and being sick can all lead to water depletion. If you feel like you're losing a lot of water or like you're not drinking enough, there are signs to watch out for in determining if you're dehydrated.
Symptoms of dehydration can include:
dry skin, rough or flaky skin, red skin, or clammy skin
bad breath, dry or sticky mouth
dark urine, urinating less often
insatiable thirst or food cravings
unhealthy low blood pressure
fatigue after rest
headaches, passing out
decreased alertness, concentration, or memory
lower than typical pain tolerance
Testing If You're Dehydrated
There are a couple of quick tests you can perform anywhere at any time to see if you're dehydrated.
The first test is to pinch the skin on your arm near your wrist (palm down) and see how long it takes for the skin to spring back to normal – which should happen immediately. If your skin slowly returns to normal, that's a big sign of dehydration.
The next test is to press down on your nail bed (which will make it turn white) and see how long it takes for it to turn red again when you let go. If it doesn't turn red right away, you're probably dehydrated.
How to Rehydrate Your Body
If you've experienced severe dehydration (passing out, hallucinations, drop in blood pressure, etc) then go see a doctor. You can prevent dehydration from getting to that point with these tips:
Drink half your body weight in ounces in water. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds then you'll want to drink 80 ounces of water a day.
Drink skim or low-fat milk.
Eat fruits and vegetables with high water content like melons and berries.
Avoid adding salt to your foods and opt for low sodium choices.
Avoid coffee, tea, and other caffeinated beverages.