I have a nerdy love of water. It fascinates me! The idea that the bond angle between the two hydrogen atoms creates a slightly positive charge on one side of a water molecule and a slightly negative charge on the other side means that water sticks to stuff. That makes it really cool!
Okay, so your lack of love for water might lead you to underestimate how cool water is. But think about water sticking to stuff. Think about trees! They don’t have a pump to get water from the roots to the top. They don’t need a pump because water sticks to the xylem (basically small tubes) in trees and moves upward as it sticks to xylem a little higher…and a little higher…and a little higher. You get the idea, right? Water rocks, and we all know that it is important. This week, we’re focusing on how you know you’re getting enough water and how to re-hydrate if you find yourself in a deficit.
As spring approaches and the weather warms, we should all be spending more time outside. After the long winter months, it is easy to get a little behind on water intake. The amount of water that you need to take in depends on your age and activities, and you might find that you need to increase your consumption of fluids as you head outside more often this spring.
Common signs of dehydration are
- an increased thirst
- dry mouth
- bright yellow pee (not a good indicator for elderly folks)
- dry skin
Serious dehydration needs to be treated by a doctor. However, for your run-of-the-mill slight water deficit, there are some easy ways to get back on track and make your body happy.
First, dehydration is a lack of water, so an easy thing to do is…you guessed it, drink some water. There are other options too though. You can also give low-fat milk a try. It was the added bonus of providing some vitamins along with re-hydrating your body.
Another option is to consume some fresh fruit, which has a high water content. Again, the additional vitamins in the fruit can help your body as well.
Surprisingly, drinking a cup or two of coffee can help. We always think of coffee as being a diuretic, and it is. However, a small amount of coffee can help you re-hydrate and give you a little boost from the added caffeine. So remember, as you head outside this spring, you have options for staying hydrated and healthy!