You can quickly become dehydrated without realizing it. Hot weather, intense effort....
Dehydration occurs when the body does not have enough water to function properly.
The consequences can be dangerous for health...
Studies have shown that even mild dehydration can have adverse effects.
That's why it's so important to know if you're drinking enough water so you can take action right away.
Here are 5 signs that show you are already dehydrated:
It's one of the first visible signs of dehydration... or rather, recognizable by the smell. Saliva has antibacterial properties, but dehydration decreases its production.
If you don't produce enough saliva, there will be an overgrowth of bacteria in your mouth. The immediate consequence is horrible breath. And that is an unmistakable sign.
Many people think you have to sweat to be dehydrated. But in fact, this is not necessarily the case. Indeed, when you are dehydrated, you can very well have dry skin and therefore not sweat. And yet, it is a sign that we are not drinking enough!
Similarly, one might think that dehydration only affects those who live in hot regions. False ! Symptoms may be less noticeable or take longer to develop, but it is totally possible to be dehydrated in temperate zones. You should also know that in very cold weather, you become just as dehydrated.
The more dehydrated you are, the more likely you are to have muscle cramps. Why?
Because it's the effect of heat on the muscles. If you lack water, you cannot bring your muscle temperature down. As a result, you increase the risk of aches and cramps.
In case of dehydration, we often want to snack on sweet foods. Why ? Because the organs like the liver suffer first from the lack of water. The reason is that they use a lot of water to release glycogen necessary for the proper functioning of muscles and the body.
To produce glycogen, the liver draws on sugar reserves. If it does not find any, it then asks the brain to produce a craving sensation to swallow it as quickly as possible.
So if you have unusual food cravings, choose a snack with a high water content like fruits and vegetables instead. They will help you stay well hydrated. Some fruits and vegetables are 90% water, such as cantaloupe, strawberries, watermelon, cucumber, celery, lettuce, zucchini, tomatoes, and peppers. Yogurt can also be a good alternative.
The brain is inside a kind of liquid pocket which prevents it from colliding with the skull which surrounds it. If this fluid decreases due to dehydration, the brain can touch the hard parts of the skull, causing headaches.
Be aware that some drinks can cause dehydration such as alcoholic drinks, energy drinks and even caffeine which has a slight diuretic effect.
Have you spotted one or more of these symptoms? But you're not sure if they're related to dehydration? Here are 2 simple checks to make to be sure:
- Do this test on the skin. Pinch your skin on the back of your hand with 2 fingers. Pull the skin 0.5-1 cm in height and release it. The skin should return to its normal position in less than a few seconds. If it's slow to come back or if creases remain, you're probably dehydrated.
- Check your urine. If you are well hydrated, the urine is clear and slightly yellow. An intense yellow, a cloudy yellow or orange are suspect colors. When you are 3% dehydrated the urine turns yellow, at 5% the urine turns cloudy yellow. When dehydration is more than 5%, an orange color is observed.
- Keep your water bottle handy. If your bottle is right next to you, you'll be drinking without realizing it. And to find out if you've had enough, use this trick.
- Drink flavored water . If you don't like tap water, spice it up with lemon wedges, mint leaves, a little fruit juice or pieces of fresh or frozen fruit. You can even use a filter like this to make the water taste better. It's more appealing than just plain water.
- Drink some tea . Prepare unsweetened flavored tea, which you can drink hot, cold or iced. A good cup of hot peppermint or chamomile tea helps keep you hydrated throughout the day with a variety of flavors.
- Avoid snacks that are too dry . Replace chips, pretzels and crackers - which have a very low water content - with fresh or frozen fruit, yogurts, smoothies or vegetables cut into pieces (celery, cucumber, tomato...).
- Think veggie . Accompany your dish with half a plate of vegetables or fruit. All these servings of vegetables and fruits provide the water and vitamins, as well as the necessary fiber and minerals.
- Drink with meals . Drinking during meals will help you eat more slowly, and of course, keep you hydrated more easily.
- Choose drinks at room temperature . Avoid liquids with temperatures that are too hot or too cold. Indeed, when ice water enters the stomach, it forces it to work twice as hard to warm it up. It's a waste of energy. If you hear water "gurgle" in your belly, it means that it has not been absorbed well by your body. Liquids at room temperature or barely cool are preferred because they are better absorbed.
Finally, note that it is recommended to have a daily water intake of 2.7 liters of water / day for women and 3.7 liters / day for men, including drinks + fruits and vegetables + the rest of the water. food.
Obviously, these figures are an average and apply for "normal" activity, i.e. no intense effort and with a moderate temperature.
Do not hesitate to adapt these figures according to the situation. And remember that you can also suffer from dehydration in winter, when the temperatures drop a lot.