Does dehydration affect fatigue? Are you drinking enough? (a chart to tell you)
Are you drinking enough? What you need to know about keeping hydrated to prevent fatigue
Making sure that you are drinking is important for health and prevents dehydration. You should aim to drink at least 1.6 to 2 litres (approx. 3 to 4 pints) of fluid per day to stay hydrated. This is the same as about eight glasses or mugs of fluid.
Signs of dehydration include: a dry mouth or lips, tiredness, headache, feeling dizzy, dry or loose skin, and dark coloured or strong smelling urine. Keeping well hydrated for those that are frail, elderly, or unwell can help prevent low blood pressure, urinary infections, constipation, and pressure ulcers.
Sometimes people are not aware that they are mildly dehydrated and by the time they feel thirsty they may be more moderately affected. Don’t forget that with warmer weather the fluid you will lose through sweating will be higher.
Checking the colour of your urine is an easy way to assess your own hydration level. Use this urine chart to see if you need to drink more.
Top Tips for healthy hydration
· Try drinking fresh cool water, fruit juice, milk, tea and coffee can also be taken. For a lower sugar and calorie type opt for water and drinks that are sugar- free or use skim milk.
· Around 20% of our fluid intake each day comes from food we eat. If you find it difficult to increase what you drink opt for foods high in moisture such as veg, fruit, soup, sauces, jelly, ice-cream, and ice lollies.
· Try drinking in between meals or after eating to avoid filling with fluids before eating.
· If you are bothered that drinking more will disturb your night’s sleep try having more fluids earlier in the day with at least 600mls before lunchtime. Avoid having fluid after 6-8pm.
Written by Sue Luscombe R.D Specialist Dietitian and Nutrition Consultant
More information about how to keep well hydrated) can be found on the British Nutrition Foundation