Water and Dehydration

Prevent dehydration with lots of fresh water

High temperatures in summer and strenuous activity (while exercising or working) increase body temperature.

Water regulates body temperature creating perspiration. Dehydration can be caused by losing too much fluid, not drinking enough water or fluids, or both. Dehydration means your body has lost its fluid balance.

Although we should ideally drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, it is estimated that only 10% do so. Over half the population only drink between 1 - 4 glasses of water a day, and this can mathematically lead to dehydration, with symptoms such as low blood pressure, rapid heart rate, and high body temperature.

Signs and symptoms of dehydration include:

  • Mild to excessive thirst
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Dry mouth
  • Little or no urination
  • Muscle weakness
  • Dizziness and light-headedness

Infants and children are more susceptible to dehydration than adults, because of their smaller body weights and higher turnover of water and electrolytes. The elderly, obese and those with cardiovascular diseases are also at higher risk.

Susceptible to dehydration are also those who are heavily dressed, consume excessive amounts of caffeine and alcohol, as well as those who work manually in poorly ventilated close spaces.

Don’t wait until you feel thirsty to drink water, as thirst receptors are a poor judge of how fluid deficient you are.
Drink fluids regularly throughout the day, even if you don’t feel thirsty.

Content based on: Water Quality Association (WQA), International Water Association (IWA), World Health Organization (WHO), American Dietetic Association (ADA) and American Heart Association (AHA).