Staying hydrated is imperative for keeping a healthy mind and body, and there are 12 signs and symptoms of dehydration which you must watch out for. Since the biggest indication of your hydration levels is the colour of your pee, we’ve put together a ‘healthy pee chart’ for you to download.
If you are fit and healthy, you should aim to drink around 1.6 – 2 litres (2.8 – 3.5 pints) of water per day, so approximately 8 glasses will do the trick. If you are involved in extreme physical work or someone who works out strenuously, you will almost certainly need more water intake.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be plain water, if you find it hard going after only a couple of glasses. You can benefit from herbal tea, fruit infusions or a homemade sports drink containing a sachet of electrolyte powder (available from all chemists), but try to buy those that are sugar free.
Thirst can often be confused with hunger, so when you think you are hungry, try drinking water first. Real hunger will not be improved or remedied by drinking water.
Here are 10 of the dehydration symptoms, a further 2 are probabilities if you do not correct your intake and rehydrate:
- Dry mouth or lips or both
- Confusion or foggy brain
- Low blood pressure
- Dry and loose or saggy skin
- Urinary water infections
The other 2 dangers:
In more extreme cases of constant dehydration, you can suffer from kidney stones and the increasing dizziness can result in falling dangerously, or even crashing your car as your concentration will be at zero level. This is not meant to be alarmist, but dehydration creeps up on you very quickly, particularly in excessive temperatures.
If you do develop a water infection (UTI or urinary tract infection), which are very common, not only are they painful and uncomfortable, but dehydration occurs very rapidly and is a common factor. Dehydration related to water infections is a double-edged sword – if you become dehydrated, it can cause a build up of uric acid and bacteria, resulting in an infection. Alternatively, a water infection can cause dehydration, so the moral of the story is STAY HYDRATED AT ALL TIMES!
A good indication of dehydration is the colour of your urine. Urine can be slightly darker first thing in the morning due to the build up of acids, or even what you ate and drank the night before. If your bowels become irritated with a gastric problem, this can also result in dark orange urine, as your hydration levels have dropped – equally so with sickness or vomiting.
Healthy Pee Chart
Download the PEE CHART
Ideally, your urine colour should be extremely pale to a very light yellow. Darker than this can be a sign of dehydration so you need to grab your water bottle – and fast!
Teach yourself and put little bookmarks in your mind to hydrate at least every couple of hours or less, depending on your environment.
Remember a very important rhyme – ‘Healthy Pee is 1 to 3, 4 to 8 you must hydrate!