How to tell if your body is properly hydrated

Water

Fluids are not your only source of water. What you eat also provides a significant amount of water.

Photo credit: Fotosearch

What you need to know:

  • Signs you are dehydrated include feeling tired, headaches, dark urine, low blood pressure, dizziness and confusion.
  • An adult weighing about 70kg requires about six to eight glasses of water for women and eight to 10 for men in a day.

Water bottles have become very popular especially with women, and a small number of men as more people become aware of the importance of staying hydrated.

Hotter weather has also contributed to the trend.

Your body needs an adequate amount of water to function properly as your brain, blood and bones have high water content.

So, how much water should you drink each day? Your individual water needs depend on many factors. Signs you are dehydrated include feeling tired, headaches, dark urine, low blood pressure, dizziness and confusion.

How much water do you need? An adult weighing about 70kg requires about six to eight glasses of water for women and eight to 10 for men in a day.

Age influences your water needs. Infants and children have much greater fluid turnover than adults. Another factor is overall health. Your body loses fluids when you have a fever, vomiting or diarrhoea.

Breastfeeding mothers

Also, if you do any activity that makes you sweat, you need to drink extra water. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding need additional fluids to stay hydrated.

Finally, hot or humid weather can make you sweat and you need more water.

Fluids are not your only source of water. What you eat also provides a significant amount of water. For instance, many fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon and spinach, are almost 100 per cent water by weight. But, water is your best bet because it is calorie-free, cheap and readily available.

How safely hydrated are you? Your fluid intake is probably adequate if you rarely feel thirsty and your urine is colourless or light yellow.

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