Are You Suffering from Chronic Dehydration?
We all know we should be drinking water on a consistent basis, and many of us may think we are getting plenty of water throughout the day. However, a shocking amount of people may be suffering from chronic dehydration without knowing it. Dehydration can have many consequences on our physiologic functions – including some that may shock you.
Dehydration Despite 8 Glasses a Day
Cornell Medical Center surveyed 3,003 Americans in 2013 and found that over 75% likely had a net fluid loss – indicating a state of chronic dehydration. Many individuals reported they did consume more than 64 ounces of fluid each day, but some of the fluids they were consuming actually resulted in added dehydration.
The consumption of caffeine, sugary beverages, and alcohol create less hydration in the body. Further, certain foods can cause dehydration in the body as well including high protein diets and certain supplements. Finally, the environment can impact an individual’s hydration levels (think about those hot summer days).
How Dehydration Impacts Physiologic Functions
The most identifiable indication that you might be dehydrated is the feeling of thirst. Feeling like you need to consume water already indicates you are entering a state of dehydration (even 1% hydration loss can trigger thirst in your body), but dehydration can impact you in other ways as well. Including:
- Bad breath
- Dry skin
- Muscle cramps
- Lack of concentration
- Decreased mood
The cure for dehydration is simple – drink more water and pay attention to the things that may be causing you to become dehydrated (and eliminate them if possible)!
Need to Increase Your Hydration? Here are Some Tips!
As someone who really needs to pay attention to water intake (to make sure I am getting enough in one day); I always love a good life hack to get more hydration in. Including:
- Infuse your water with fruit & herbs to enhance the flavor
- Use an app to track your water intake – there are so many fun ones out there and many link to your water bottle, smart watch, phone and more
- Always keep a water bottle with you – If you keep it on hand, you will increase your water intake naturally
- Invest in a filtering system or water delivery – filtered water just tastes better!
- Drink sparkling water instead of soda – get your carbonation fix without the chemicals and caffeine
- Stick to a one to one rule when drinking alcohol or caffeine – for every cup of coffee or glass of wine, follow it by one glass of water.
- Use a marked water bottle to help you reach your goal – mark hours throughout the day so you know how much you need to drink to keep a consistent pace.
- Use a reusable straw – drinking through a straw allows you to drink faster and consume more.
- Reward yourself when you reach your hydration goals!