We all know what it feels like to be thirsty, but some signs can be less obvious. If you’re exercising moderately – for example, cycling to work and back – it can be hard to tell how much you’ve sweated and you may misjudge how much water you really need to replace. If in doubt, drink more!
So, what are some of the signs and symptoms of dehydration?
- Your eyes feel dry
- Your urine is a darker colour and stronger-smelling, and you need to go less often
- You feel thirsty and light-headed
- You feel tired or sluggish
- You experience muscle spasms
- You have minor heart palpitations
- Your skin is dry and lacks elasticity
- You are having trouble going to the toilet
- Your tongue is swollen
- Your mouth feels dry.
Interesting points from the video
Studies of elderly people suffering from delirium found that many are actually chronically dehydrated. When you haven’t had enough water, your brain tissue literally shrinks – leading to headaches, difficulty performing tasks and decreased ability to feel pain.
Around 65% of the body is made up of H2O. We lose 1.5 litres of fluid per day through urine and a further litre through breathing, sweating and excrement. It is essential the body replaces this lost liquid.
Although around 71% of Earth’s surface is covered with water, just 2.5% is freshwater – and after much of it has gone feeding crops and animals and cooling electric power plants, less than 1% is left for human consumption. No wonder we’ve got a crisis.
Main image: psyberartist at Flickr Creative Commons