Staying hydrated is so important, especially during the summer. The best way to stay hydrated is to drink before you’re thirsty; if you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Water is the best source and hopefully should be your primary source to stay hydrated, but other liquids can contribute to your fluid needs. Water is also found in almost all foods. Most fruits and vegetables contain up to 90% water, and many meats and cheeses contain at least 50%. Water plays vital roles in the body, including: protecting and providing cushioning for organs, regulating your body’s temperature, and aiding the digestive system. Below is a list of some common signs and symptoms of dehydration.
Early or mild symptoms of dehydration include:
- Dry mouth, dry tongue
- Dry, warm skin
- Cramping in arms and legs
- Inability to concentrate
- Reduced amount of urine, urine color is dark yellow
Moderate to severe dehydration symptoms include:
- Low blood pressure, heart failure
- Severe muscle contractions
- Skins loses its firmness, elasticity
- Bloated stomach
- Fast, weak pulse
Because water/fluid needs vary depending on diet, activity, environmental temperature, and humidity, establishing a general water recommendation is difficult. General rule to go by is drink 8-12 glasses per day. A good way to help you achieve this goal is to carry a water bottle with you everywhere you go. Also, consume plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables daily and try to drink before your meals, while you’re still hungry instead of after you’re full. Good luck, stay hydrated, and drink (water) to your health!
Learn more about nutrition and healthy lifestyle from our dietitian, Kinsey.