Are you dehydrated? How to Know if You’re Drinking Enough and Staying Hydrated

If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. But lack of thirst doesn’t necessarily mean you’re well hydrated. Here are two other ways to check if your body is dehydrated:

1 Try this skin test

Use two fingers to pinch the skin on the back of your hand, then release the skin. The skin should return to its normal position in less than two seconds. If the skin returns to normal more slowly, you may be dehydrated.

2 Check your urine

If you are well hydrated, your urine will be mostly clear with a yellow tint. Dark yellow or orange are the “warning” colors to watch out for. If you see these colors, start drinking fluids.

Tips for staying hydrated

When it comes to daily water intake, strict rules are difficult to enforce because they depend on so many variables. Including your age, gender, whether you are pregnant or breastfeeding, and whether or not there is an underlying medical condition. However, the most recent recommendations available advise drinking 2.7 liters per day for women and 3.7 liters per day for men from food and liquid.

Here are 5 tips for drinking all liquids and avoiding dehydration:

The bottle of water with you

Keep your water bottle handy at all times. If it’s right next to you, you’ll probably get into the habit of sipping it without even realizing it.

Try flavoring the water

If you don’t like plain water, add some fresh mint leaves or pieces of fresh or frozen fruit. Or try calorie-free, naturally flavored sparkling waters. Their sparkling and fruity taste make them more appealing than plain water.

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Opt for sugar-free herbal tea

If you prefer, look to unsweetened teas, which come in many different flavors. Sip iced teas during the day (with lots of ice if it’s hot), or opt for chamomile tea in the evening. All of this counts in reaching your daily fluency goal.

Swap your snacks for fresh options

Replace dry snacks, such as chips, pretzels and crackers, biscuits, which have a very low water content, with refreshing snacks, such as fresh fruit or celery and chopped vegetables with hummus.

If you don’t drink, eat the water

In the same vein, know that vegetables and these fruits are hydrating, just like drinks. Try filling half of your plate with it at mealtimes. All these servings of vegetables and fruits will provide you with water as well as a good dose of vitamins, minerals and fiber. In fact, some fruits and vegetables are over 90% water, including melon, strawberries, watermelon (of course), cucumber, celery, lettuce and leafy greens, zucchini, tomatoes and peppers.

The importance of preventing dehydration in the elderly

Older people may be at higher risk of dehydration for a number of reasons. Some older people become chronically dehydrated if they take certain medications, such as diuretics, have a decreased sense of thirst, cannot easily get a glass of water, or forget to drink due to dementia . Chronic dehydration in an older person can lead to confusion, low blood pressure, dizziness and constipation. If you have an elderly parent with reduced mobility or cognitive issues, be sure to monitor them for any signs of dehydration, or ask their caregivers to do so.

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As for your own well-being, remember that healthy bodies are made up of at least 60% water. Keep that healthy balance and drink!


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