Symptoms of dehydration: How to tell if someone is dehydrated

The body is made up of 60% water and, as such, is an important part of your body’s healthy functioning. Each system in your body depends on water to execute its proper function: water flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to your cells, and provides a moist environment for ear, nose and throat tissues. It is crucial that you drink enough water daily.

How Much Water Do I Need?

The Mayo Clinic notes that every day you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. The actual amount of water you need depends on a few factors, including the climate where you live, your level of activity, and your health. The old rule “Eight 8 oz. glasses per day” is a pretty good level for most people.

Research suggests that most fluids (coffee, tea, juice, and water) contribute to the total 8 oz. a day rule. Water is still your best bet because it’s calorie-free, inexpensive and readily available.

Follow these tips from Mayo Clinic to stay hydrated:

  • Drink a glass of water or other calorie-free or low-calorie beverage with each meal and between each meal
  • Drink water before, during and after exercise

How Do I Know If I’m Dehydrated?

Medline Plus, a service of the US National Library of Medicine, lists these signs of dehydration in adults:

  • Feeling thirsty
  • Urinating less often than usual
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Dry skin
  • Feeling tired
  • Dizziness and fainting

If you think you’re dehydrated, drink small amounts of water over a period of time. Taking too much all at once can overload your stomach and make you throw up. Avoid caffeine while you are experiencing dehydration.

If you are experiencing dehydration you should contact a medical professional.