Excessive thirst and dry mouth.
Headache and muscle cramps.
These are a few of the symptoms of dehydration, or the excessive loss of water from the body. Hydration is one of the most overlooked health concerns for adults, and drinking adequate fluids is crucial to maintaining all your body’s systems – including your heart, brain and muscles. Water helps your body remove waste through urine, maintain a healthy metabolism and regulate body temperature, blood pressure and heart rate. It’s easy to see why water is so critical to a healthy lifestyle!
How much water do you need? Although the right amount of water is different for everyone, it’s based on your age, gender, physical activity, medication and your area’s climate. A good starting point is 64 ounces a day, but the more rigorous activity you do, the more water you need. People who live in particularly hot or cold weather or who sweat excessively need to drink more.
In addition to helping your body function properly, drinking water has other benefits like improving physical performance and cognitive function. When you exercise, your body uses a lot water to keep your system operating efficiently. Staying hydrated before, during and after exercise protects your body and muscles from harm. Without water, you’ll likely experience fatigue, lower endurance levels and your heart rate can increase.
A visual reminder – like a large cup with a straw that you refill several times a day – can help you meet your water intake goals. Placing a pitcher of water on the counter every morning is a good way to remind yourself or a loved one that they need to drink, even if they don’t feel thirsty. If you’re looking for a starting point, aim for eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid every day. If you wait to drink until you’re thirsty, your body is already saying it’s low on the important fluids it needs. Keep a reusable water bottle close by and sip away – your body and mind will thank you!
If you are experiencing severe symptoms of dehydration from the summer heat, CHI Memorial Convenient Care offers locations in Chattanooga and Cleveland, Tennessee and LaFayette, Georgia. Click here for locations and hours of operation.