Spotting when you’re low on fluids isn’t always as easy as you think. Here’s everything you need to know about the signs of dehydration
What is dehydration?
On a daily basis we lose on average two litres of water through things like breathing, sweating and visiting the toilet. When we fail to replace those fluids, it results in a decrease in your body’s total water content and dehydration.
Keeping fluid levels topped up is critical for a well-functioning body including your brain, kidneys, the nervous and digestive systems. How much water we need for optimum health though, is up for debate and varies with age, weight, genetics, activity levels and other factors.
What causes dehydration?
There are some scenarios where the risk of dehydration is increased, such as:
- Illness: Being unwell with side effects of vomiting or diarrhea can lead to excessive loss of fluids and electrolytes.
- Exercise: Exercice causes you to sweat and lose water and electrolytes. Work out in hot weather and this can accelerate things.
- Alcohol: For every drink you consume containing 10mg of pure alcohol you lose around 100ml of fluids. Multiply that by a good night out and you have enough fluid loss to give you that headache the next morning and other signs of dehydration.
- Medication: Certain medications like diuretics can cause the quickening in loss of fluids.
Most of us know that it’s important to stay well hydrated since water constitutes 50-70% of our body weight and is critical for most bodily functions. However, we’re not always great at keeping on top of our body’s liquid needs and though it’s better if you never get to this stage, a big part of building good drinking habits, is knowing how to spot the early signs of dehydration.
According to Waterlogic, the average person in the US drinks 1.07 litres of water daily, which is lower than the recommendations of most leading health organizations. People in the UK, Australia and Canada don’t fare much better either.
We could all benefit from being better in tune with our bodies. From hydration for general health to those situations where dehydration poses much more serious risks, this guide will help you spot when dehydration strikes and offer some simple tips on how to respond.
What are mild symptoms of dehydration in adults?
The signs of dehydration can vary from person to person and what they’re doing at the time. The most obvious sign that you’re already dehydrated is thirst. This is your system’s way of signalling you need to take on fluids. However, by the time thirst strikes, you could have lost 1-2% of water in your body, enough to have an impact on the way the body behaves and potentially leaving you more stressed or agitated.
In addition to thirst, The Mayo Clinic outlines a range of small or mild symptoms associated with someone who is suffering from dehydration. These include:
- A dry mouth
- Bad breath
- Suffering with a headache
- Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
- Feeling constipated
- Urinating less frequently
- Urine is darker in colour
- Dry skin
- Change in mood
These symptoms can be managed easily by reaching for something like SOS Hydration, which has the right balance of electrolytes for effective hydration. Adding SOS into your daily drinking habits can also help avoid dehydration in the first place.
Severe dehydration symptoms
In more extreme cases, you may experience a mix of the mild symptoms mentioned above along with some more severe symptoms, which include:
- Feeling extremely thirsty
- Inability to produce sweat
- Rapid breathing and heart rate
- Dark urine when going to the toilet
- Low blood pressure
- Skin may appear shrivelled
If you are experiencing any of these severe symptoms related to dehydration, you should seek medical attention.
SOS Hydration is the perfect solution to keeping you body hydrated throughout the day. Developed by a leading doctor, two former elite athletes, and a retired military medical officer, SOS is specially engineered to provide 3x the hydration as water, and contains added essential electrolytes and vitamins for extra benefits.
Try our new daily electrolyte, vitamin and mineral drink for an even easier way to stay hydrated on-the-go.