Preventive measures against dehydration
With summers round the corner, the regular intake of water becomes more important to overcome the ill-effects of dehydration.
Water is the only nutrient whose absence will be lethal within days. The symptoms of dehydration are fatigue, loss of appetite, light-headedness, dry cough and dark coloured urine. In warm conditions, our body dissipate heat mainly through sweat which cools the body tissues underneath.
This loss of water through sweat needs to be replenished regularly to avoid dehydration. The best way to avoid dehydration is to drink before you feel thirsty. This can be done by including water intake in your meal planner just as breakfast or lunch.
Each individual should try to drink at least 8-12 glasses of water every day. Also, a knowledge of which beverages are good or bad for hydration will help in planning preventive measures against dehydration. Plain water is sufficient for low or moderate activity like walking but if you are going for strenuous exercises, then a sports drink containing essential electrolytes like sodium and potassium would be preferable. Alcoholic beverages, tea or caffeinated ones are not recommended since they assist in removing the body water rather than replenishing it.
We should also include water rich fruits and vegetables like watermelon, strawberries, cucumber, tomatoes, radish, green peppers, spinach, cauliflower etc. in our diet. They provide us natural sugars, vitamins and essential minerals as well as constitute 20% of our water intake.
One way to confirm about proper hydration is check the colour of urine. If it is clear or pale yellow then it indicates proper hydration but if it is dark, it indicates dehydration and time to drink lots of water.