It’s a well-known fact that humans need water to survive, but many people drink only the bare minimum of water, keeping themselves going but not giving their body the fluids it needs.
Here are 8 ways to check if you’re getting enough water through the day.
And remember, while water is most effective in its purest form, and caffeine may dehydrate you, it’s better to drink something than nothing.
1. Think about how often you need to urinate.
If you’re drinking enough water, you probably need to urinate 6-7 times a day. It can vary to a little more or less, but that’s the average. If you find you only need to pee 2 or 3 times a day? You’re almost certainly not drinking enough. Since your kidneys need water to filter out impurities properly, it’s important to keep yourself hydrated.
2. Do you get headaches often?
Not all headaches are caused by lack of fluids, but dehydration headaches are often made worse by movement. This is often caused by people doing activities that cause them to sweat a lot, but neglecting to hydrate afterwards. If you find you have this problem often, remember to take regular breaks to drink.
3. Feeling hungry when you shouldn’t?
If you feel hunger pangs even after eating, it might be that your body is mistaking thirst for hunger. When this happens, have a glass of water. If you are no longer hungry, it was just you’re body asking for water. If you’re still hungry, think and see if you’re craving anything in particular. Sometimes your body will want certain foods for the nutrients they provide.
4. Check your skin.
Long-term low-level dehydration can cause dry skin. If your skin is still dry after using moisturisers this may be the reason why. Also, if you pinch the skin on the back of your hand and pull it upwards, it should snap back at once. If it holds it shape and returns slowly, that can be a sign of dehydration.
5. Feeling dizzy?
If you’re severely dehydrated, you may experience light-headedness and dizziness. This is common for people who’ve been working in the sun too long and forget to hydrate.
6. Check the colour of your urine.
A little gross, I know. The easiest way to get a rough idea of your hydration level is looking at the colour of your urine. If you’re properly hydrated it should be almost colourless. If you’re dehydrated it will turn to yellow, and if you’re severely dehydrated it will turn brown. Don’t try and fix it by chugging a bunch of water though, it can make you ill. Try and drink water regularly throughout the day.
7. Is your mouth dry?
If your mouth is feeling dry it’s usually due to a lack of saliva. This can be caused by not drinking enough, or by certain medications. If dry mouth is a common problem for you, make sure to keep a drink nearby.
8. Are you Chronically Dehydrated?
If you are constantly dehydrated it can cause many more problems. It can damage your kidneys and increase the risk of kidney stones. It can also lead to constipation and muscle damage.
Make it easy for yourself to drink water. Carry a reusable waterbottle with you and keep it near you at your desk on on a coffee table. If you tend to forget about drinks, get one in an eye-catching colour so you won’t miss it.
There are plenty of apps that will remind you to drin water throughout the day, some include inputting the amount you drink to keep a plant alive, while some will simply remind you and keep track on how you’re doing.
If you’re not fond of the tase of water, try drinking squash or flavoured water. You can also flavour water yourself with fruit.
Other drinks like juice and tea can help, but both contain a lot of sugar. Fruit teas without added sugar are a good option.
If you drink alcohol, be sure to balance it out with something non-alcoholic. Not only will it keep you hydrated, but it will help reduce your hangover.