One thing that has become evident over the last 2 years is that people are not drinking enough water. With increased mask wearing we are finding that we are losing more water through sweat as our body temperatures increase slightly from breathing in the warm air. This also may be tricking the thirst reflex as we are breathing in moist air. In turn lots of people will think that they can’t be dehydrated because they don’t feel thirsty; however, that’s not the case. There are many people that are suffering the effects of dehydration and aren’t aware of it.

Here are some of the signs and symptoms of dehydration:

  • Dry mouth

  • Headaches

  • Muscle cramping

  • Tight muscles

  • Decreased urine output

  • Dark yellow urine

  • Dry skin

  • Fatigue

  • Increased thirst

  • Decreased sweating

You won’t necessarily have all of these symptoms when dehydrated. Often times people will ignore these symptoms and not realize that they are dehydrated. They might have a headache, tight muscles and fatigue and then take an Advil to cover those symptoms. Unfortunately I see this in my office on a regular basis. There are a large amount of people that come into my office and would benefit hugely just by drinking more water. When people drink more water it allows them to heal quicker and to be in less pain.

Aside from the mask use mentioned above there are several other reasons why people will become dehydrated. One of the main ones is that people don’t know how much to drink. The easiest way to figure that out is to use this simple equation: Take your body weight in lbs and divide by 2. That is how many ounces of water you should drink. So, for example, if you weigh 160lbs then you would need 80 ounces of water in a day. The average glass is 10 ounces, so that equals 8 glasses of water a day.

Another issue to remember is that caffeine is a diuretic. What that means is that it will actually make you urinate. So you dehydrate as a result of drinking anything that has caffeine in it. So for every cup of coffee or pop or energy drink that you consume you are going to need to add that as an additional cup of water to drink in your day.

A well hydrated body will allow you to be healthier! So drink up! With the increased heat you are going to be losing more body water and your intake is going to need to increase.

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