In the heat of the Queensland summer comes humidity.
It causes you to sweat, and not just a little. Sometimes, every pore in your body will leak fluid to try to cool you down. The body is amazing, designed to keep us in good health. If we remember a few things we can stay on top of our hydration.
Extreme fluid loss is possible!
Dehydration is huge at this time of year. If you are not from Australia you have an even greater danger of becoming dehydrated because you will perspire more than you ever thought possible.
Do you have a slight headache that Panadol or Advil will not take away? This can be the beginning of dehydration. Have you urinated today? Have you felt dizzy, light headed, nauseous? Has your infant child not wet its diaper in 3 hours? Are you thirsty?
If you answered yes to any of these questions you may be dehydrated.
If you can push on your skin (pushing 2 finger tips together works really well), and your skin does not bounce back up quickly, you are lacking water.
Make sure you have an abundance of water!
You need to balance intake with loss. On a normal day you can lose up to 2 litres of water. Have you been out drinking, without replenishing your water intake? Alcohol and coffee can dehydrate you. Sometimes this can be the cause of a severe hangover. Illness, diarrhea and vomiting can dehydrate you as well.
Coffee can dehydrate you!
Water in our bodies keeps us refreshed, cleans out our kidneys and bladder, keeps our system moving and saturates our tissues. In times of dehydration our body will actually move the water where it is needed, from our cells, to our blood and back again.
Often you can treat mild dehydration by drinking 2-3 glasses of water in succession. Your headache will go away quite quickly. Electrolyte drinks and the like help as they contain a combination of minerals that regulate our nerve and muscle function, our bodies hydration, blood pressure and the rebuilding of damaged tissues. Most commercial drinks are full of sugar and artificial colours and flavours so you could try making your own.
Water, tea and soup can hydrate you!
Symptoms of dehydration can range from mild to severe. Check these out: mild headaches, extreme thirst, irritability and confusion in adults, dry mouth, little or no urine, sunken eyes, dizziness, light headedness, shriveled and dry skin that doesn't bounce back when you push on it.
Even trees lose moisture!
The colour of your urine is also an indicator. Clear to light means you are well hydrated, dark yellow to amber means you are dehydrated. Be careful though if you are taking supplements as they can change your urine colour.
Woman have more body fat and less water in their bodies, roughly 52 - 55%, men have less fat and hold more water, about 60%. Babies and children can maintain 70% but older individuals and obese folks run somewhere in the 30's. So each of us will vary in the amount of water that we need.
So in the throes of summer, don't just swim in water, make sure you are drinking it as well.