Summer is here and it. is. hot. Really hot in some places, steaming in others. Needless to say, heat can cause dehydration, nausea, and even trouble concentrating, all within a matter of minutes; drinking enough water is absolutely essential to our well-being. There’s no time like the present to take stock of our hydration habits — and possible dehydration warning signs.
Blurred Vision or Dry Eyes
Water moistens muscle and tissue, including those in the eyes, nose, and mouth. Some telltale signs of dehydration are dry eyes, dark and sunken eyes, or blurred vision.
Thirst and Dry, Sticky Mouth
Increased thirst is an obvious sign of dehydration. To prevent getting to this point, the National Academy of Sciences recommends quenching your thirst with around 11.4 cups of water a day for women, and 15 cups for men. Drink more when spending excessive time exercising or in the sun.
Headaches and Exhaustion
If your body does not have enough fluids, this could result in heat exhaustion which could lead to headaches, dizziness, fatigue, lack of concentration, and delirium. Even mild dehydration can affect cognitive functions, mood, and energy.
Clear urine may indicate over-hydration. Light yellow or straw-colored points to proper hydration, but if your urine is dark then drink some more water.
After any amount of strenuous exercise, it’s only natural for parts of the body to feel tired. However, if you are experiencing muscle cramping this could be a clue there is loss of water and salt in the body. Because sodium helps the body retain water and re-hydrate, serious athletes and fitness buffs should drink sports beverages containing sodium and electrolytes. Also, keep snacks like salted pretzels on hand.
Dry, Shriveled Skin
Dr. Laura Goldberg, a pediatric sports medicine specialist in the Division of Sports Medicine at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, states that one sign of dehydration is if the skin lacks elasticity.
Dr. Goldberg also warns that a lack of sweat could be a sign of severe dehydration. It could also indicate overheating or an impending heat stroke. Either way, it’s imperative to cool down quickly.
Aside from drinking plenty of water, you can also eat it. Well, sort of. Take some time to increase your H20 intake by eating foods with high water content. Cantaloupe, celery, cucumbers, tomatoes, watermelon, and zucchini are perfect examples.
Lack of proper water intake also affects our physical appearance. Our hair is our crowning glory and keeping it moisturized is crucial. Facial skin also benefits from regular hydration. Though external products, like creams and lotions can help, water is the best thing you can do to stay looking fresh. A U.S. National Library of Medicine study shows that hydration can counter thinning hair and hair loss in menopausal women experiencing hormone shifts. Brittle nails may also be a sign that your body needs more water.
No matter the season or temperature, water is the “secret sauce” for a glowing body from head to toe, inside and out. Drink up!