With this spectacularly warm summer that we’ve been having one thing that has been apparent with patients is that they are, for the most part, dehydrated. 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 for you to be aware of:

  • 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 one or two of these symptoms and not realize that they are dehydrated. In addition these symptoms are masked by over the counter medications like Advil or Tylenol. Unfortunately I see this in my office on a regular basis. There are a large amount of people that come in and would benefit hugely just by drinking more water. When people drink more water it allows them to heal quicker, the muscles are less tight and they adjust easier.

There are several other reasons why people will become dehydrated. One of the main ones is simply that people just 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. 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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