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Ya’ll it has been HOT out there. Unreasonably, oppressively HOT. I’ve been trying to keep myself healthy and hydrated as best I can. I know a couple of weeks ago I found some ways to help keep us cool, but what about staying hydrated? What does hydrated look like? How much water do I drink? Is water the only thing that counts? … and squirreling off I went.
- Mild dehydration is the one most common cause of daytime fatigue. Estimates are that the majority of people are mildly or chronically dehydrated.
- Mild dehydration can be easily reversed by drinking sufficient water or fluids.
- Frequent and prolonged dehydration can have many side effects.
- One of the quickest and easiest ways to determine if your body is sending the signal that it’s dehydrated is to check your urine color. There is actually a chart that lays out the colors from dark yellow or even brown – up to clear. If your urine is drifting into the brown color you should highly consider immediate medical attention.
- You can actually drink too much water, and it can cause a condition called hyponatremia, otherwise known as water toxicity. Anyone can get it, but certain groups have a higher risk, including individuals with kidney failure, congestive heart failure, liver dysfunction, chronic severe vomiting or diarrhea, Addison’s disease, and those taking certain medications.
- But also, some groups are at a higher risk of dehydration: children, pregnant women, and some older adults. Especially if someone in one of those categories is sick.
- Drinking liquids isn’t the only way to get hydrated. While about 80% of our fluid is from liquids, roughly 20 percent comes from the liquid found in watery foods such as juicy fruits and vegetables.
- There is a range in the amount of liquid people need to stay hydrated. The environment (like those of us melting in South Texas) can be a big factor. Some of the most recent guidelines state that a fluid goal of 15 cups of fluid for men and 11 cups of fluid for women should be followed. But of course, that depends on other factors as well.
So we know it’s a little complicated… but it’s also fairly simple… depending on what your body tells you, and what your current activity is… be aware of your hydration!