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Tired? You Might Not Think Of This As The Reason!
When many people feel tired, their first impulse is to reach for a cup of coffee. Caffeine, that natural stimulant which so many of us are dependent upon, will certainly perk you up. But caffeine is also a diuretic and as such, it will in some cases actually make the underlying source of your tiredness worse: dehydration.
That’s right— being tired is just one of the many symptoms which can be linked to not getting adequate hydration during the day, and it is a problem that likely affects many more people than are aware of it. Research suggests that between 20 and 30 percent of older adults are experiencing some form of hydration.
Tiredness linked to dehydration is often accompanied by headaches and difficulty concentrating. If you are experiencing these symptoms, try drinking a glass of water instead of reaching for a stimulant, and see how you feel. Don’t be surprised if your symptoms improve reasonably quickly.
Surprisingly, cravings for sugary items can also be a sign of dehydration. If you find yourself pining for sweets on a regular basis, take note of how much liquids you are taking in— and NO, drinking soda is NOT killing two birds with one stone, the negatives of doing so far outweigh any hydration benefits of sugary soft drinks.
Why Hydration Matters
Why is it so important to stay hydrated? Because your body (assuming you are an adult) contains around 42 liters of water. This accounts for between 50 and 70 percent of your total body mass. When you don’t get enough water, you’re simply not getting enough of the essential ingredients of what makes your body what it is.
In addition to fatigue, much more serious health problems like kidney stones can occur without proper hydration, as well as heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and organ failure. Some research even indicates that inadequate hydration can be linked to a higher risk of cancer.
Water also plays a critical role in metabolic function, as well as the circulation of blood (which is itself 85 percent water) and both solid and liquid excretion of waste. Another tell-tale sign of dehydration is infrequent urination, and urine that is dark yellow in color. A healthy, well-hydrated adult typically urinates 7 or 8 times per day, and urine that is pale yellow or almost clear in color is a sign that you are getting adequate hydration.
Steps to Take
Your own sense of thirst is generally a good indicator of when you are becoming dehydrated. If it has already gotten to the point where you are beginning to feel thirsty, it’s time to drink some liquids. It is important, especially during hot summer months and when engaging in physical exercise, to make sure that you are getting enough water. Keep sipping water throughout the day, and if you feel yourself getting thirsty, stop messing around and have a drink. Your body is sending you a signal, and ignoring signals like this takes a toll on your health over time. There are few health issues as simple as trying to prevent dehydration, so just do it. Your body will thank you later.