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Friday, 07 October 2016 13:33

Dealing with Dehydration

Feeling thirsty? Knock back a cup of water before reading the rest of this article. The concept of hydration is simple, we drink water, and our bodies become hydrated. Yet it is so commonplace in our day and age to not be drinking enough water. This is especially important coming into the warmer months of the year, where dehydration can pave the way to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

The human body is made up of between 50-80% water depending on our life stage and body composition. A few of its key roles involve helping to:

  • Keep blood volume up
  • Carry nutrients to parts of our body
  • Regulate body temperature

Thirst is the first sign of dehydration. Further consequences of dehydration include:

  • Low energy or fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Dry mouth Light-headedness, dizziness or headaches
  • Cramps
  • Poor athletic performance or during workouts
  • Confusion

How much water should we have?

Most people would say, “8 glasses a day”. A good starting point, but not completely true. Every body is different and the amount it needs is slightly difference depending on what we do. A 75kg athlete training 2 times a day would require far more than the same man doing office work. The ‘Adequate Intake’ for water, as defined in the Nutrient Reference Values suggests 3.4L for males, 2.8L for females.

That said, it is just a guideline. We lose about 4% of our body weight in water each day, not including sweat. For a 70kg adult, that’s 2.5-3L a day. At a minimum, we need to be replacing what we are losing. Adding a workout to your day? That’s more water you need to replace. In an hour of exercise, expect to lose anywhere between a 1-2 L of water.


Tips for improving hydration


  • Carry a drink bottle. Easy access to water gives you something to sip on and stops you from buying something sugar-laden while you’re out.
  • Set yourself a target for your water intake. Practical goals include making sure to fill up and finish your bottle twice a day or making sure to fill up your work mug at least 3 times a day.
  • Drink chilled water – water between 10-20°C improves its palatability
  • Drink a large cup of water as soon as you get out of bed. This is especially important for those that do exercise in the morning. Make sure to keep sipping on your way to the gym!
  • Looking at your own urine is an effective way of telling if you are hydrated. Optimal hydration is indicated by almost clear or very pale yellow urine. The deeper the yellow, the more you need to drink. Note: if you take a multivitamin, your urine will be yellow for at until that passes through.









Read 4136 times Last modified on Friday, 07 October 2016 13:39