Dehydration - Are You Drinking Enough?

Published: 18/06/2018

Most of us don't drink as much as we should, but did you know that dehydration can have some serious consequences for your health? Here's our guide to making sure you stay hydrated.

Staying well hydrated is one of the most important things we can do to keep healthy, but do you know how much water you should be drinking? As a general rule, experts recommend having 6 to 8 glasses of any fluid per day, although many of us fail to reach that target.

Common Symptoms of Dehydration

You only need to lose 2% of the water in your body to become dehydrated. Without an adequate fluid intake, our bodies can’t function properly but the symptoms of dehydration can vary. Mild dehydration can make us feel tired, dizzy, unable to concentrate or give us headaches. At the other end of the scale, severe dehydration can have very serious consequences, like extreme confusion, seizures and kidney failure.

Tips for Staying Hydrated

So how can you keep well-hydrated? Fortunately, it doesn’t just involve drinking endless glasses of water! There are plenty of other ways to make sure you get enough fluid:

  • Let’s start with the obvious one, drink plenty of fluids! Water is one of the healthiest options, but pretty much any fluid counts, from milkshakes and smoothies to fruit juice or a cup of tea. Alcohol isn’t a good idea though, as excess amounts can actually cause dehydration.

  • Eat foods that have a high water content. Watermelons, cucumbers, tomatoes and oranges, for example, all contain a good amount of fluid that can count towards your daily intake. Soups, broths and stews are also a good way of getting more water into your body, particularly if you’re not keen on just drinking.

  • Increase your intake when the weather is hot or you’re particularly active. We lose a surprising amount of fluid when we sweat, so we need to make sure we replace it.

  • This might not be the nicest one on the list but check the colour of your urine! If your urine is a strong yellow or orange colour, it means you’re not drinking enough. You’ll know you’re well hydrated if your urine is a pale straw colour.

  • If you’re ill with a fever, vomiting or diarrhoea you can lose a lot of fluid very quickly, so make sure you drink plenty. Mixing a rehydration sachet into your drink can help replace the water and electrolytes that have been lost.

  • If you’re having problems remembering to drink enough, why not make a schedule or carry a drink around with you to sip on the go? Having drinks at regular intervals will not only help you stay topped up and but will give you more of an idea of how much you’re really drinking.

  • Don’t overdo it! It is actually possible to drink too much water which can be just as harmful to your health as dehydration. Keeping a healthy balance of 6-8 glasses, or around 2 litres per day, will give your body what it needs to function at its best.

Supporting People to Live Well at Home

Statistics show that older or vulnerable people are at particular risk of becoming dehydrated. This is because they’re more likely to be living with certain health conditions, disabilities or cognitive difficulties that can make it hard for them to manage their own fluid intake.

Although drinking enough water is fundamental to our health, it’s a basic need that is sadly overlooked in care some care settings. Not at Bluebird Care Bromley! Making sure our customers get the fluids they need is a core element of our bespoke care plans because we believe that high quality domiciliary care supports our customers’ every need, from the basic to the complex.

If you or someone you know might benefit from a bit more support to live independently at home, why not give us a call or drop us a line to find out more about our in-home care services? Our experienced care team are always happy to help.