Drinking enough water throughout the day can have a significant impact on your overall health and productivity. Water is the most critical element in the human body. It makes up about 60% of the body’s weight and is found in every cell. Throughout the day, we lose water at a reasonable rate through working out, sweating, breathing, and going to the bathroom, but remembering to replenish those forgotten molecules can be a challenge.
When we’re sick or not feeling well, water loss increases, which makes us feel run down and even more ill if we don’t rehydrate. When water loss exceeds water intake because of diarrhea, vomiting, or even sunburns, you run the risk of becoming dehydrated, which can be a severe risk to your health. This is one of the many reasons why Artesian is so passionate about providing pure and clean drinking water. As we head into summer, we want to make sure everyone knows the signs and symptoms of dehydration and tips for avoiding thirst.
Signs & Symptoms
The body’s natural response and the first sign that you’re dehydrated is thirst. A good rule of thumb is that if you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. You might also notice that your urine output slows down, which means your body is being conservative with all of its functions and not operating at its optimal level. According to MedicineNet, you might also notice that your urine is darker in color.
Once you’re thirsty and haven’t replenished your water loss, you could also begin to experience the following:
- Dry mouth
- Muscle cramps
In severe cases of thirst, you could end up feeling nauseous and begin to vomit, which will further accelerate dehydration. In some severe cases, the body will start to shut off blood flow to the skin and force more blood to the brain, heart, and lungs to make up for the loss of fluids. If you feel like your skin is cold and clammy, it’s most definitely time to rehydrate!
Who is Most at Risk for Dehydration?
While anyone can become dehydrated, especially during the hot summer months, infants, children, and seniors over 60 are at the highest risk. For infants and children, dehydration occurs most often when their physical needs are not met. Infants rely on adults for all of their nutrition and water intake. They also have underdeveloped sweat glands and temperature regulation systems, making it extremely difficult for them to regulate their body temperature and sweat properly. Parents must remember to provide enough fluids and keep infants out of the direct sunlight or extreme heat to prevent dehydration.
Seniors are at high risk of becoming dehydrated because of their age. As the body ages, the amount of water held within the cells decreases, and they are less likely to experience thirst. Various senior groups are also more likely to become dehydrated, including:
- Those over 85
- Patients suffering from 5+ chronic diseases
- Alzheimer’s patients
- Bedridden seniors
To avoid the severe health risks that come with dehydration, seniors should aim to drink roughly five or more 8-ounce glasses of water throughout the day. They can find hydration from drinking water, juice, or milk with every meal and avoiding coffee or alcohol.
Tips for Staying Cool and Hydrated
The best way to stay cool and hydrated, no matter what time of year it is, is to consume enough water throughout the day. But in the summer, you should up your intake, especially if you work outdoors or enjoy outdoor activities that cause you to sweat. One of the best ways to remember to drink more water throughout the day is to keep a water bottle with you that can be refilled at a hydration station or water fountain.
You can also consume water through the foods you eat. Some fruits high in water include watermelons, blueberries, strawberries, oranges, and grapes. On the vegetable side, you might try celery, cucumbers, lettuce, and zucchini.
If you still need help staying cool and regulating your body temperature, especially while enjoying your outdoor activities, consider placing a cold, wet towel around your neck, using a portable personal fanning device, wearing an oversized sun hat, and staying in the shade as much as possible.
There’s no doubt that water is essential to our everyday lives, and having access to pure, clean drinking water can encourage us to drink more. If you’re looking for a way to encourage your employees to drink more water throughout the day and avoid dehydration, contact Artesian Bottleless Water today.