Despite what a lot of people think, dehydration is a very common phenomenon. In fact, it impacts most of us on a daily basis. When you think of dehydration, survival situations out in the desert probably come to mind. But dehydration can occur much more easily, and it routinely does. Even on a relatively cool day, it is still very easy to become dehydrated.
Most people don’t realise how important water is; nor do they realise how much you need to drink to remain healthy and hydrated. For us, here in Queensland, this is especially important. Summer temperatures can skyrocket and even winter sunlight can pack a punch. So when you go about your daily business, try to keep an eye out for a few of the many signs that you aren’t drinking enough water.
The most obvious sign of dehydration is a dry mouth. This is basically the sensation of being thirsty, but it actually indicates more than that. If you feel thirsty, then you are already dehydrated. Our bodies require an almost constant source of hydration. This generally means that you should have a water cooler on standby throughout the day to remain at a healthy level of hydration.
Our bodies can tell us that we are dehydrated in many ways. One of these ways is overlooked too often as being unrelated to hydration, and that is your skin. Your skin is a great indicator of your general health and it tells us more than we realise. One thing it tells us very clearly is how hydrated we are.
If you are dehydrated, then it will probably show in your skin. It might feel a little dry or perhaps even a bit flaky. This normally suggests that your dehydration is progressing to a relatively serious level. Our pores are sweating almost constantly to cool our bodies down, but to do so we need to be well hydrated. If your skin is dry then it can indicate that your body’s capacity to cool itself is compromised. This means you are not drinking enough water.
A lot of us lead such busy lives that a headache is quite commonplace. More often than not, we will simply brush it aside as a ‘stress headache.’ However, this is not always accurate. A lot of the time, a headache is our body trying to tell us that we are dehydrated. In fact, headaches are among the most conclusive indicators that we are not drinking enough water. So before you reach for some paracetamol, try having a few glasses of water and seeing how that goes.
If you live in a sustained state of even the mildest dehydration, your sleep can be affected. Poor sleep is another thing that most people blame on the stresses of modern life. But simply increasing your water intake and staying hydrated can help. Essentially, our bodies operate best when they are hydrated. This means that you stand the best chance of getting a solid night’s sleep if you keep yourself well hydrated throughout the day.
It is not just our bodies that operate best when well hydrated. Our brains and brain function is also surprisingly reliant on hydration. If you are not drinking enough water, then you could potentially find it harder to concentrate as a result. This will often go hand in hand with headaches and poor sleep.
If you have a busy period approaching at work, try drinking more water to prepare yourself. Chances are, you will be surprised at the outcome. Having a good water cooler on standby is a great way to remind yourself to stay hydrated, while also offering cool refreshment in a convenient manner.