Hydration – Do you drink enough?

Do you drink enough during the day? Hydration plays a significant role in the daily state of mind and endurance. The amount of exercise and different activities increase the need for hydration, but various factors such as temperature and body weight also affect hydration.

Insufficient fluid intake

Insufficient fluid intake can lead to dehydration, but before severe dehydration, other symptoms often occur. Lack of urine and its dark colour is often a sign of dehydration. Dry mouth, headache, fatigue and dizziness are common signs of dehydration. Even the brain’s ability to work decreases even when a relatively small fluid deficit occurs. In exercise, fluid deficiency usually appears as the first decreased performance, your heart rate may be higher, and it takes more time to recover.

During exercise, through sweating you can lose up to 6-10% of your body water, leading to a change in your body temperature control, meaning your body heats up faster. Motivation also decreases and training feels physically and mentally harder. Optimal hydration prevents these things from happening.

do you drink enough?

The liquid comes from many sources, water alone does not have to be the only source. Some foods, juices, sports drinks, and coffee and tea contain liquid. Energy-rich drinks and those that contain caffeine should be moderate and should not be the only source of fluid.

Adults need about 1.5 to 2 litres of fluid a day, which is about 8 to 10 glasses. Men often have a greater need because of their higher body weight. High temperature, high humidity, exercise, sweating, and physical work increase the amount of fluid needed. If you are not used to drinking enough before, it may seem difficult to increase the amount. You may need to visit the toilet more often before your body gets used to it.

If you have difficulty drinking, you can replace some of the liquid with watery vegetables and fruits such as watermelon and cucumber. Drinking should be divided throughout the day, slowing down towards the evening unless there is physical activity in the evening.

Popkin, B. M., D’Anci, K. E., & Rosenberg, I. H. (2010). Water, hydration, and health. Nutrition reviews, 68(8), 439-458.

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