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Driven to Drink | Is Your Family Dehydrated? (Probably)

 

Go ahead. Pick up that glass. Drink, drink, drink!

No, I don’t mean beer, wine, pop (or soda, for some of you), or juice. Pick up that glass of water and chug it!

Too often I hear about people who are struggling to drink water. “I’m getting in 32 ounces, is that good?” Um, no. I even know folks who drink no water in a day. They get their fluids through tea, coffee and other drinks. Liquid does not equal hydration.

“But I’m peeing often enough!”

Still, you’re not doing your body any good to deny it water.

Dehydration Symptoms

According to mayoclinic.com, mild to moderate dehydration may cause the following symptoms:

* Dry, sticky mouth

* Sleepiness or tiredness – In kids, their activity level will lessen.

* Thirst

* Decreased urine output

* Dry skin

* Headache

* Constipation

* Dizziness or light-headedness

Sounds like fun, right?

Go ahead. Step away from your computer now and fill up your bottle with water. I’ll wait …

OK, welcome back. Hopefully you’re feeling a little more refreshed and awake right now. Let’s continue.

How do you know if you’re getting enough water? When you go to the bathroom, go ahead and peek at the bowl. Light-colored urine is a great indication that you’re well hydrated. Dark yellow or amber urine is a symptom of dehydration.

Mild to moderate dehydration can usually be treated with water or electrolyte sports drinks. If symptoms are more severe than those listed above, get immediate medical help, giving greater caution to the signs of even moderate dehydration for kids.

How To Get More Water in Your Life

It’s easy to let water consumption slide. Life gets busy. This is when you need to have some strategies in place. Here are a few ideas to remember to drink (if fearing the symptoms isn’t enough):

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* Set a timer. If every hour on the hour from the hours of 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. you drink a mere 8 ounces of water, you’ll be in great shape.

* Set a goal. Pick a number (preferably over 96, as the American Council on Exercise recommends at least 96 ounces of water a day) and either count up or count down, whichever works best.

* Set it out. Once you’ve picked a goal, set aside that much water in a container and don’t stop drinking that water until it’s gone.

* Mix it up. You don’t have to settle for bland, boring water (although it really is great on its own). You will still get the great hydration benefits when you throw in a slice of fruit, mint leaves or cucumbers to give it a slightly different taste.

Do your body a favor! Raise a glass and drink up!

How do you get yourself and your family to drink more water?

 

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Lori Rypka has been certified as a personal trainer through the American Council on Exercise since April 2010, and enjoys helping friends find their healthy selves. Follow Lori on her blog at Fumbled Into Fitness.

1 Comment

  1. Christin

    October 22, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Great tips and advice!

    We are water drinkers at our house! Lots of it too, no soft drinks or sweet tea. My girls drink milk or orang juice at breakfast and the rest of the day is water only. I’m always amazed when I hear someone say that they never drink “plain” water.