How to tell if you’re dehydrated

Many conversations I have with clients touch on hydration and how much water is enough.
2 litres or 8 glasses a day are often quoted as the amount to drink but we are all quite individual and therefore the amount of water we each need daily depends on a number of factors – for example, our size (bigger people tend to need more than smaller ones), the temperature, the amount of exercise we do and how much we sweat.
Even mild dehydration can impair physical and mental vitality. Some signs and symptoms of insufficient hydration are fatigue and weakness, headaches, rough or dry skin, nosebleeds, irritability, constipation, and low blood pressure.
One easy and decently reliable indicator of our hydration status is the colour of our urine. Ideally it should be pale yellow and non-odourous throughout the whole day.
The other question is whether tea and coffee ‘count’ as they do have a diuretic effect so can dehydrate the body. My advice would be as long as you’re drinking enough water to keep your pee pale and odour-free, then don’t worry about your occasional coffee or cuppa. Don’t forget that herbal teas are acceptable in addition to water.
When your pee is pale all day you can be pretty sure that your fluid intake is sufficient for your particular needs, thereby best promoting your health and vitality.

Written by

Claudia Williamson Registered Nutritional Therapist DipION, FdSc, mBANT, mCHNC Tunbridge Wells, Kent