Our bodies are made up of around 60 percent water. Our brain is made up of about 80 percent water. Even our bones are made up of 25 percent water. We can live for no more than five days without water as opposed to 30-40 days without food. Water is the single most important nutrient that our bodies need. It is involved in almost every function of our bodies. Yet many of us don’t drink enough of this previous liquid. Most of us run on a state of dehydration and don’t even realise it. So what are the symptoms of dehydration?
- Dry skin
- Joint pains
- Dry, sticky mouth (late symptom)
- Inability to loose weight
- Dark circles under the eyes
- Looking older than you are
- Decreased urine output or dark-coloured urine (urine should be light coloured or clear)
- Reduced concentration
- Dizziness or light-headedness
- Muscle cramps
Some of us think that by drinking other liquids we are getting enough water. But beverages that contain caffeine and/or sugar actually make us more dehydrated. Waiting until we feel like drinking is another common problem we all face. By the time we actually feel thirsty we are already dehydrated.
We need to drink about 2-3L of water per day; more if we work outdoors, exercise, or live in a hot climate. This equates to about 6-8 glasses. Some ways to ensure we drink enough water may be to:
- Take a large 1 Litre water bottle to work
- Keep a jug of water on our desk and drink a glass every 1-2 hours
- Choose water over other beverages at lunch
- Choose sparkling mineral water at restaurants rather than soft drink
- Add a little lemon/lime juice and mint to water for flavour
Like with all things, our body only wants what we normally give it. So if we don’t like drinking water it is probably because our body isn’t used to drinking it. Over time with consistent water drinking our bodies will learn to love this vital liquid.