Water is essential to the functioning of many systems of the body; in fact, a human being can only live roughly a week without water. This is why dehydration needs to be taken so seriously; it is life-threatening if not addressed promptly. It is estimated that a human being needs at least eight glasses of water per day to function on a normal day. More than that is necessary on hot days, when exercising, and when ill. Many Americans choose not to drink water, but instead, choose to exclusively drink other beverages, such as alcohol, coffee, tea, or soda. The issue with these fluids is that they are diuretics, meaning that they cause the body to lose more water, which can cause dehydration. It is actually believed that chronic dehydration is an epidemic in the U.S. because of caffeine and alcohol.

Symptoms of Dehydration

Symptoms of dehydration include:

  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dark urine
  • Less urine than normal
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Thirst
  • Dry mouth

Staying Hydrated

Fortunately, staying hydrated is easy as long as you are mindful. Begin and end each day with a full glass of water, because as you sleep, you naturally lose some water. Additionally, keep in mind that anytime you breathe, sweat, and perspire, you are losing water. If you are in a hot, humid environment or are working out, it is especially important to up your water intake. Even if you are not working out, if you have an active job where you are on your feet most of the day, you need to make sure you are drinking a glass of water every hour. Water is the best choice for staying hydrated over sports drinks.

Also keep in mind that you don’t want to drink TOO much water. Drinking too much water and not taking enough sodium makes it possible for you to develop a condition called hyponatremia, which causes brain cells to swell, leading to confusion, seizures, comas, or death. This can happen if you are participating in an endurance activity and not replenishing your electrolytes as well as drinking water; therefore, drinking a sports drink is actually advantageous for these situations.

Am I Drinking Enough Water?

Not sure if you are actually getting enough water? Take this quiz below to find out!

1)How many cups of water do you drink per day?

A. 0-3
B. 4-5
C. 5-7
D. 7 or more

2) How many alcoholic beverages do you drink per day?

A. 0-1
B. 2-3
C. 3-4
D. 5 or more

3) How many cups of fluid that are not water, non-alcoholic, and non-caffeinated do you drink per day?

A. 0
B. 1-3
C. 3-5
D. 5 or more

4) How many caffeinated beverages do you drink per day?

A. 0-1
B. 1-3
C. 3-4
D. 5 or more

5) How many servings of fruit do you eat per day?

A. 0
B. 1-3
C. 3-4
D. 5 or more

6) How many servings of vegetables do you eat per day?

A. 0-1
B. 2-4
C. 4-5
D. 5 or more

7) How many cups of soup do you eat per day?

A. 0
B. 1-2
C. 2-3
D. 3 or more

Answers

A = 0, B = 1, C = 2, D = 3
A = 0, B = 1, C = 2, D = 3
A = 0, B = 1, C = 2, D = 3
A = 0, B = 1, C = 2, D = 3
A = 0, B = 1, C = 2, D = 3
A = 0, B = 1, C = 2, D = 3
A = 0, B = 1, C = 2, D = 3

Results

  • 0 to 5: You need more water! It’s time to drink less caffeine and alcohol and drink more water!
  • 5 to 10: You are close to hydrated, but you are missing probably a quart or so of the water you need. Step up your water game by adding a few more glasses to your routine.
  • 10 to 15: You are hydrated. You are getting the full amount of fluids you need every day. Maintain your hydration plan as you have it!
  • 16 or more: You are extremely hydrated and prepared to take on anything! Run a marathon in the desert and you will still be feeling fine! Keep up the good work.

At the office of L.A. Quinn, M.D., we offer IV hydration therapy. This is the most efficient and effective way to combat dehydration, as well absorb a variety of essential vitamins and minerals. If you are interested in finding out more about how IV therapy can help you, contact L.A. Quinn, M.D. today.