Water is as precious as the air that you breathe; you cannot live without it! It is one of the most important components of all living organisms. Although you will be able to live without food for up to 50 days, without water you will barely survive for a few days, even in a cool climate. Water cannot be stored in the human body; therefore the amount of water lost everyday must be replaced to maintain your overall health and body functions. Your body loses water primarily through urine, sweat, exhaling, feces and perspiration and the two main sources to replace the water lost from your body is - food and beverages.
Why do you get dehydrated?
Any condition that increases your body temperature like physical activity, fever or high external temperature increases the need for water. So, dehydration is mainly caused by the inadequate intake of water or excessive fluid loss – in this case the hot summer days.
Who is at an increased risk for dehydration?Some people have special water requirements and are at an increased risk for getting dehydrated, they include:
- Young children
- Pregnant and lactating mothers
What are the symptoms of dehydration?
Although thirst encourages you to drink water, once you feel thirsty it means that dehydration has already occurred to a certain degree. Mild dehydration may result in tiredness, headache and decreased alertness and ability to concentrate. Other physical consequences may vary from a dry mouth and dark coloured urine to tingling and numbness.
Prevent getting dehydrated by using these methods
Your can maintain an appropriate water intake to match your body fluid loss and thus prevent dehydration. As mentioned earlier, the onset of the sensation of thirst is already a sign that dehydration has started. It is therefore good practice to anticipate and drink before becoming thirsty. A suitable daily allowance for adults is an average of 2.5 litres of water of which about 1.5 litres (8 glasses) should be consumed by drinking water and other liquids.
Good to Remember:
Keep yourself well hydrated throughout the day as this helps in maintaining concentration and alertness!