Water, water, everywhere, but not a drop to drink.
Did you know that approximately 57-60% of your body is composed of just water? It’s true! Water counts for just over half of your body weight, yet a lot of Australians do not drink enough water to even meet their basic daily requirements – Around 75% are considered to be chronically dehydrated. Particularly as the days are getting longer and hotter as it gets into Summer, it is very important that you stay hydrated for the sake of your health.
Dehydration is a condition that leads to a whole range of everyday ailments such as nausea, headaches, drowsiness and a lack of concentration. It particularly makes one much more tired and not fully conscious in their activities – a 1% drop in water levels can trigger daytime fatigue and difficulty focusing. Even if you’re not feeling thirsty, there are signs that you might need to keep hydrated such as lightheadedness, a dry mouth and a darker coloured urine.
How much you ought to drink depends on a number of factors such as age, metabolism and if you’re undertaking exercise or a demanding physical activity. The recommendation is to drink between 6 and 8 glasses of water a day, but you ought to drink more if you’re an older adult, are pregnant, are exercising or if you’re simply out in the sun. Drinking more water is also important if you have certain medical conditions such as kidney stones or bladder problems or if you have a fever or are suffering from vomiting and diarrhoea.
In order to stay adequately hydrated, it’s a good idea to keep a bottle of water with you, especially if you know you’ll be out in the heat or are walking somewhere in the sun. Drinking water before, during and after exercise is important too as well as drinking with meals. Oh, and cups of coffee, tea, sports drinks and of course, alcoholic beverages all do not count towards a glass of water a day, so make sure you get enough water in your body to compensate! Tap water is free so make use of it!