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October 31, 2023

Are you drinking enough water? Here’s how to figure it out

Filed under: Fitness — Tags: — admin @ 2:10 am

We’ve all heard the same recommendation that adults should drink eight glasses of water a day.

But how do you know if you’re actually drinking enough water to properly hydrate your body?

New research from Hydralyte reveals that almost half of Australians admit to not drinking enough water each day and a staggering 82 per cent fall short of the recommended 8-10 glasses.

As we head into what’s sure to be a sweltering hot summer, hydrating properly is essential.

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Close up of a woman hand filling a glass of water directly from the tap.

According to Hydralyte’s study, 40 per cent of Australians can notice signs of dehydration within their body at least a few times per week.

Being able to recognise symptoms of dehydration – before it gets worse – is something everyone should be able to do.

Feeling thirsty is the most common symptom, along with dry mouth and lips, a headache, discoloured urine, tiredness, dry skin and feeling lightheaded

Dr Brad McKay, an experienced medical practitioner with special interests in preventive health care and wellness, highlights the importance of staying hydrated.

“It’s crucial for overall health and well-being. Hydration is essential for regulating body temperature, helps us remain physically active in the heat, and maintains our brain’s ability to function on a hot day.”

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Side view of young woman drinking water from a bottle on a hot summer day.

Though drinking enough water is important no matter the season, as we move into summer, it’s even more crucial.

“Taking steps to avoid dehydration is important when you’re vigorously exercising, when you’re outside on a hot day, and whenever you’re sweating excessively. Your physical and cognitive performance can be optimised by prioritising hydration.”

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Top tips for staying hydrated:

  • Drink water: Aim to drink at least eight glasses of fluid each day. Drink more if you’re outside in the heat, exercising, or sweating excessively.
  • Rapid rehydration: Oral rehydration solutions or electrolytes, available as effervescent tablets or powders that can be dissolved in water, work even faster than water.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol: Caffeinated drinks and alcohol aren’t great if you’re dehydrated. They act as diuretics and you can pee out more fluid than you’ve put in.
  • Set an alarm: It’s easy to forget to drink fluid when you’re outside having fun. Set your alarm to go off at regular intervals over the day as a gentle reminder to keep sipping fluid.
  • Reusable bottles: Carry a reusable bottle with you. It’s better for the environment than using disposable plastic bottles and gives you easy access to fluid over the day.
  • Smart Exercise: Hydrate before physical activity and rehydrate afterwards. Drink water or consider oral rehydration solutions for rapid rehydration.

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Young woman drinking water outdoors after workout.

”Record-breaking heatwaves are expected this summer, making it vital for Australians to prioritise hydration,” Dr McKay says.

“As our climate changes, we’ll need to build healthy hydration habits all year round and become increasingly aware of the signs and symptoms of dehydration.”

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