4 years ago · lizzie · 0 comments
Signs and symptoms of dehydration
Recently I have been wondering: what are the signs and symptoms of dehydration? I have noticed a pattern every time I have a coffee at a café – I am yawning afterwards. I experimented with the carbs I was eating with the coffee – thinking perhaps that was counteracting the caffeine and making me feel sluggish afterwards. However, no matter what I did, I would still yawn afterwards. Being a mother of two small children I put this down to the motherhood slept debt I have accumulated over the past 8 years. However, I soon realised that I was yawning after a coffee, even after a good night’s sleep.
Being a health conscious person with a background in health and fitness, I am always carrying a bottle of water with me, so it never occurred to me that I could be dehydrated – I assumed 2 large bottles a day of water was enough to keep me hydrated, but I was wrong. After some quick research I discovered I was missing out on 2 bottles of water per day. The recommended daily water consumption for adult women is 12 cups of water and for adult men it’s 15 cups. This equates to approximately 3 large bottles of water (in my 24 ounce water bottle) per day for me.
Signs and symptoms of dehydration
By the time you are thirsty you are already dehydrated, so it’s best to be mindful of your water intake before you feel thirsty.
According to the MAYO Clinic, here are the signs and symptoms of dehydration for children and adults. If you are a parent, it is very important to ensure your child is hydrated at all times, particularly when they are sick.
Symptoms of dehydration in infants and children
- Dry mouth and tongue
- No tears when crying
- No wet diapers for three hours
- Sunken eyes, cheeks
- Sunken soft spot on top of skull
- Listlessness or irritability
Signs of dehydration in adults
- Extreme thirst
- Less frequent urination
- Dark-colored urine
Two of the biggest indicators of dehydration are the colour of your urine and the dryness of your skin. The more yellow your urine and the more dry your skin is, the more dehydrated you are. The only spanner in the works is that when you take vitamins it discolours your wee, so you can incorrectly assume your yellow wee is the result of your vitamins, not your level of hydration – this is the mistake I was making. So, one day of avoiding vitamins gave a much clearer picture of my level of hydration.
I decided to put my water consumption to the test to see if this would reduce the yawning after coffee. One week after drinking 12 cups of water per day made a significant difference to my energy levels. I no longer yawned after coffee and felt much more energised in general. What a simple solution to something that had been bothering me for some time.
Tips for increasing water consumption
If you think you might be dehydrated, the easiest way to boost your intake is by having a water bottle with water level markers with you at all times. The best bottles I have found are from the brand Contigo. Their bottles are so nice to drink from and the water level is clearly visible from the outside of the bottle.
So always be mindful to take a water bottle with you when leaving the house, but be particularly mindful of your water consumption at home. This is the time when you are likely to forget to drink, as you are not being overly active, are going about your business in the home and are unlikely to keep a water bottle at hand to remind you to drink. Being regularly hydrated will boost your energy levels, help you to think more clearly and keep you healthy, so drink up!
Lizzie O’Halloran, BBSc, MASR, NLP Prac
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