Stress and Dehydration: Breaking the Cycle continued...
How do you know if you’re dehydrated?
- First, are you thirsty? If you are, you’re already dehydrated.
- Second, take a look at the bowl the next time you go to the bathroom. If the urine is dark in color and has a pungent smell, you’re dehydrated. The darker the urine and the stronger the smell, the more dehydrated you are.
In general, you should try to drink between half an ounce to an ounce of water for every pound you weigh, every day. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, that would be 75 to 150 ounces of water a day. If you’re living in a hot climate and exercising a lot, you’d be on the higher end of that range; if you’re in a cooler climate and mostly sedentary, you’d need less.
Tips for Drinking Enough Water Each Day
How can you build more water consumption into your day? Try these tips:
- Carry an insulated sports bottle with you and fill it up periodically.
- Keep a glass of water on your desk at work.
- Keep another glass next to your bed. Many of us wake up dehydrated first thing in the morning.
- Switch one glass of soda or cup of coffee for a glass of water.
- Drink small amounts of water throughout the day. Six glasses all at once isn’t good for you!
If there are certain places and times in your life when you know you’re under extra stress -- at work, at carpool pickup or dropoff, during a particular class -- be sure to have a bottle of water with you to sip during those high-stress times. “Think about times of the day when you can fit it in, and make a conscious effort,” Melto says.