Drink up! Tips to Avoid Dehydration

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By News Team on June 11, 2022

Our bodies are about two-thirds water, so we need enough of it every day to function properly and feel our best. This is true year-round, but it's especially important in the summer months, when dehydration can come on quickly.

Water is essential for all of our organs and systems, but we notice its absence first in our metabolism and digestion—constipation and dark, odorous urine are an early sign. Other signs of dehydration include:

  • Fatigue
  • Increased thirst
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lightheadedness

According to Carilion Clinic’s Suzanna Jamison, M.D., dehydration can cause weakness, dizziness, confusion and—in severe cases—can even lead to death. So whether you’re outside in the hot sun or inside at your desk, carry a refillable bottle with you and build a habit of drinking from it throughout the day.

When To Drink

Dr. Jamison recommends drinking enough to urinate every two to four hours. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty, and don’t drink all of your daily water at once. Drinking small amounts of water throughout the day is ideal.

In addition, if you think you’re feeling hungry, drink a glass of water. Our bodies can’t easily tell the difference between hunger and thirst, so that will both keep you hydrated and prevent overeating.

What To Drink (and Avoid)

Many fluids and foods—especially fruits and vegetables—can meet your body’s need for water.

Be mindful of drinks like coffee and sodas, which have a diuretic (dehydrating) effect. In particular, watch out for alcohol, as it causes the body to lose a lot more water than it takes in.

And Dr. Jamison recommends avoiding sugary drinks altogether—they add unnecessary calories without quenching your thirst the way water does.

Drinking more water doesn't have to feel like a chore! Check out these easy ways to work more water into your diet.

If you have any questions about hydration or other dietary needs, ask your primary care physician.

 

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