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Dehydration. Now there is a dry subject. We tend to think of dehydration in the summer when the temperature is reaching the nineties or when we are exercising A LOT. But dehydration can occur more often than you may think. It can also have some serious side effects for adults and children alike.

So let’s talk about what dehydration really is. Dehydration is when your body does not have enough fluid to function properly. If you loose fluids quicker than the rate you are taking fluids in, you will become dehydrated to some degree. Sometimes it is an easy fix and other times medical attention can be needed.

As I mentioned before, dehydration can happen in more ways than just being out in extreme hot temperatures. In fact, exercise or doing physical labour in the heat or the cold can leave your body lacking fluids. As you sleep, your body is fasting and therefore not taking in water. The fluids that you do have stored up are being used to make your organs and body function. A plug in heater, fireplace or heating blanket will cause your body to loose water and faster than normal rates as well. Another way to quickly become dehydrated is being sick. Vomiting and diarrhea (ew, I know) makes your body loose fluids quickly. Thankfully, our bodies have ways of sending us messages to remind us to hydrate.

If we do not hydrate properly, our bodies will start to let us know. Some early signs and symptoms of dehydration are:

  • Thirst (simply put, if you are thirsty, you are already beginning to dehydrate)
  • Dry mouth and/or lips

  • Dark yellow urine (not due to vitamin supplements) and/or constipation

  • Muscle cramps
  • Headache, fatigue or dizziness

  • Dry skin

If we do not begin to replace the lost fluids when these symptoms arrive, our bodies may begin to react in more dangerous ways and could result in:

  • Very little or no urine and urine that is extreme dark

  • Very bad headaches, blurred vision and dizziness

  • Sunken eyes

  • No life in your skin. If you pinch the skin on your hand, your skin will remain in that pinched shape for a few seconds
  • Irregularities in breathing, blood pressure and even heartbeat
  • Fever

Here are the top ways to stay hydrated:

  • IMG_1931DRINK WATER! Our bodies are made up of about 55-65% water. So the best thing to fuel it with would be….drumroll please…..water! Other juices, sports drinks and pop contain unneeded chemicals and/or sugars and that makes it harder for the body to extract the water from it. In fact, some of these drinks can leave us feeling more dehydrated!
  • Make sure you are drinking water on a regular basis, or a steady pace throughout a regular day. Make sure to take in even more water on a day that you are at higher risk for dehydration. Get used to carrying a reusable water bottle with you throughout that day. (Be responsible and green people. Don’t waste plastic bottles!)
  • Eat your fruits and veggies!! Many fruits and veggies have a high water content. This does not replace drinking water, but it does help!!

Notice I have not stated how many glasses of water one should drink a day. It is really all individual and can vary due to so many factors. Listen to your body, make changes to have water with you regularly, and start your day off with a nice glass of lemon water as discussed in this post:Β

Now…I’m off to the pool. But I won’t drink the water!!!

~ Plant Trainers

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