Are you drinking enough water?

By Randall Hawkins, MD, FACP - Internal Medicine Physician



Water is vital in helping our bodies function at their best. When it comes to our health, how do we know if we are drinking enough? Here are warning signs you may be lacking optimal hydration and should be drinking more water.

Signs of dehydration

Dehydration can cause a host of avoidable health problems such as urinary infections and heat exhaustion. Here are some dehydration warning signs to be aware of:

· Dry mouth

· Infrequent urination

· Dark yellow urine

· Dry Skin

· Headaches

· Muscle cramps

Symptoms of severe dehydration

· Extremely dark yellow urine

· Overly dry skin

· Dizziness

· Rapid heartbeat and/or breathing

· Lack of energy

· Sleepiness

· Confusion

· Irritability

· Fainting spells

Benefits of drinking water

Water a satisfying thirst quencher, and the abundance of health benefits includes the following: · Lubricates joints

· Prevents premature wrinkling

· Increases brain function and health

· Regulates body temperature

· Promotes a healthy digestive system · Sustains blood pressure

· Reduces the risk of developing kidney stones

· Increases exercise performance

· Aids in weight loss

Tips to stay hydrated

With work, school, and plenty of social events, it can be easy to forget your recommended daily intake. Here are some healthy habits to adopt to ensure you are consuming enough water:

· Keep a water bottle at your desk and refill when necessary.

· Snack on non-starchy fruits and vegetables such as grapes, watermelons, cucumbers, and celery.

· Have at least one glass of water when you wake up, before you go to bed, and with each meal.

· Drink water before, during and after exercise.

· Mistaking hunger for thirst is common. Drinking water when you are feeling hungry can help you control meal portions as you’ll feel fuller.

Drinks to avoid for better hydration

Regularly consuming drinks high in sugar can not only lead to obesity, but some may even reverse the effects of hydration. Steer clear of the following beverages:

· Energy drinks

· Sugary drinks like sodas and bottled teas

· Fruit and vegetable juices

· Alcohol

To learn more about how to lead a healthier lifestyle through diet and exercise, contact the Pleasant Valley Hospital Wellness Center at 304-675-7222. With exclusive promotions, fitness programs, personal training, and amenities, you’ll find your way to optimal health and wellness in no time! To schedule an appointment with internal medicine physician Randall Hawkins, MD, FACP, please call 304-675-7700.

This piece submitted by PVH.


By Randall Hawkins, MD, FACP

Internal Medicine Physician