How to Combat Dehydration

Are you worried about dehydration? Sometimes it can be a challenge to know how much water to drink. Other times, life gets in the way of simple tasks like staying hydrated. The good news is that there are several ways to fight dehydration and keep yourself happy and healthy.


This article will delve into all aspects of dehydration, including the signs that you might be experiencing it. Read on to learn more and make sure you are caring for yourself by staying hydrated every single day of your life.


Signs of Dehydration


If you think you are dehydrated (or someone else in your life is) there are several signs to be aware of. For instance, you’ll probably feel extremely thirsty. Thirst is a sign your body gives you to say that you need fluids. In addition, you may have an uncomfortable feeling of dry mouth.


When you’re dehydrated, you might notice that you sweat less than usual. The same is often the case for urination. Dehydration can also cause dark-colored urine and dry skin. It may also cause you to feel more tired than average, cause dizziness, or make you vomit.


Keep in mind that age also impacts the signs and symptoms of dehydration. For young children, the symptoms might include a dry tongue and mouth or not making tears when crying. After three hours, a child with a dry diaper may also be experiencing dehydration.


Other child dehydration symptoms include sunken cheeks and eyes, a sunken soft spot on the skull, or irritability, and listlessness.


If you are concerned that you may be dehydrated, you should speak with a medical professional in some situations. This should be done in the following situations:


  •         You have had diarrhea for 24 hours or longer
  •         You cannot keep fluids down
  •         You feel disoriented, irritable, or less active and more sleepy than normal
  •         Your stool is black or contains blood


Getting dehydrated can happen to anyone, and the section below will go into detail about how much water you need each day.


How Much Water Does an Average Person Need Per Day?


So, you know that drinking enough water is essential. We all do. However, do you know how much is “enough?” A lot of people don’t, so you aren’t alone if you fit into that category. The answer depends on several things, but there is a general rule that should ensure you take in enough fluids each day.


If you are male, you should be drinking around 15.5 cups of water a day. That comes out to about 3.7 liters of water. On the other hand, females should drink at least 11.5 cups of water each day, which equals 2.7 liters. If you have trouble remembering to drink, consider buying a large cup or bottle you can fill in the morning. This will make it easy to sip throughout the day.


You may have heard in the past that you should drink eight glasses of water a day, which can be a goal initially. Keep in mind that everyone is different, and your fluid intake needs might differ from those of the next person. Some people need fewer fluids than others.


Some of the things that can alter the amount of water you need include:


  •         Level of exercise – Extensive exercise leads to sweating and the need for additional fluids to avoid dehydration.
  •         Type of environment – Humid and hot areas cause sweating and the need for additional fluid to stay healthy.
  •         Overall health level – Vomiting, diarrhea, and fevers can cause loss of fluids. Oral rehydration may be needed to keep you hydrated during illness.
  •         Breastfeeding and pregnancy – If you are breastfeeding or pregnant, you may need to take in additional fluids to ensure you are rehydrating yourself. Ask your doctor for more information.


Now that you know how much water you need every day, let’s switch gears. We want to share information about what happens if you drink too much water.


Can a Person Drink Too Much Water?


It might be surprising, but yes, it is possible to drink too much water. When too many fluids are introduced to the human body, it can cause a condition called hyponatremia. This isn’t a minor health issue, either. Hyponatremia can be a life-threatening and fatal problem.


When too much water is in the body, the kidneys cannot filter it out quickly enough. The level of water in the body starts to climb, and sodium levels drop. The cells in your body swell and can cause a variety of health problems.


Some of the most common symptoms of hyponatremia include:


  •         Coma
  •         Confusion
  •         Fatigue, drowsiness, and lack of energy
  •         Headache
  •         Irritability and restlessness
  •         Muscle cramps, spasms, or weakness
  •         Nausea and vomiting
  •         Seizures


The proper treatment for this condition depends on how serious it is. In some cases, all you need to do is drink less. However, more severe cases may require medications and IV electrolyte solutions. If you experience severe symptoms, it’s best to call a doctor to obtain emergency medical care.


Moving back to dehydration, you’ll learn several ways to combat this problem in yourself or your loved ones below.


How to Combat Dehydration


The first way to avoid dehydration is simply making sure you drink the recommended amount of water every day. This keeps you well-hydrated and ensures your body functions at its best.


Some other tips play into this. For instance, you should always have water somewhere accessible. As you go through your day, make sure you take small sips about every 30 minutes or so. If you can’t remember to do so, set alarms or get an app for your phone until it becomes a habit.


You also want to keep in mind that water is not the same as other fluids. Alcoholic beverages and coffee should not be included in your water intake for the day. The substances that are included in these beverages can make you even more dehydrated than you otherwise would be.


Not a huge fan of regular water? That’s okay. One of the things you can do is drink coconut water instead. Some people find this more palatable and use it to reach their daily intake. There are also other benefits associated with coconut water. It contains a large amount of potassium, for instance which may be helpful for a hangover.


We’ve focused on only beverages so far, but there are also foods you can use to avoid dehydration. The basic idea is that you should eat foods that contain a large amount of water. Not sure where to start? A few of our favorite options are listed below:


  •         Berries
  •         Celery
  •         Clear soups and broths
  •         Cultured dairy foods
  •         Fresh juices
  •         Green smoothies
  •         Leafy greens
  •         Melons


Another option to help with combating dehydration is the use of rehydration salts. This is a specialized product that offers glucose, electrolytes, and other nutrients to help you restore fluid balance in your body and increase your hydration levels and you can prepare them at home using glucose or sugar, water, and salt.

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