Health Editor Susannah Hickling discusses the warning signs of dehydration and helpful tips to keep hydrated. 

 

You lose your sense of thirst as you get older

This means you’re more likely to become dehydrated, making you more prone to falls, heart disease, urinary-tract infections, kidney stones and confusion.

A new study from Loughborough University has shown that drivers who had only a few sips of water an hour made twice as many mistakes as motorists who were properly hydrated. In fact, they made a similar number of errors as you’d expect from someone over the drink-drive limit.

 

How do you know when you’re dehydrated?

Warning signs include: 

  • Feeling tired
  • Dry mouth
  • Dark urine
  • Losing weight
  • Reduced concentration
  • Headache
  • Constipation

 

Make sure you stay hydrated by:

  • Keep a glass of water by your side when you’re at home, and sip from it regularly
  • Form a new drinking habit—for example, when watching TV, always reach for the water glass during an ad break
  • Take a small bottle of water with you when you go out
  • Always drink a large glass of water with a meal
  • Eat fruit and veg that have a high-water content, including watermelon, grapefruit and cucumbers
  • Draw up a weekly water card—a bit like a coffee loyalty card—with a target of eight glasses of water a day. Mark it every time you have a glass of water. Award yourself a prize—a bar of chocolate or a book, maybe—when it’s full at the end of the week
  • Drink water before, during and after you take any exercise

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