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Around The Water Cooler

The Best Ways to Rehydrate Your Body

We’ve all been there. You’re sitting at work and you just can’t concentrate on anything. You’re in a foul mood. You’re exhausted, and battling a headache that just won’t quit. Then it hits you like a bucket of cold water.

"Wait… have I had anything to drink today?"

Dehydration can sneak up on anyone, especially when the sun is beating down over summer. So, here are our handy rehydration tips to keep you happy and healthy.

What Causes Dehydration?

You don’t need to be at the gym and sweating like a lunatic to become dehydrated. Our body expends a great deal of water everyday through normal functions; breathing, crying, salivating and going to the bathroom all use up the body’s stores of water.

Everyone needs different amounts of water each day to maintain a healthy level of hydration. Your required amount can be affected by many factors including your age, climate and how active you are. According to the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, for an average woman, the recommended daily water intake (from fluids) is 2.1 L/day, while for an average man it is 2.6 L/day. However, these are just guidelines! The best advice we can give is to listen to your body. Drink enough so you're not thirsty for long periods, and drink a bit extra when you’re exercising and during hot weather.

What Are The Effects of Dehydration?

Even mild dehydration can affect your ability to perform day-to-day tasks. Without enough water, you can end up with symptoms like:

  • Thirst
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Cramps
  • Aches
  • Dry mouth
  • Light-headedness

So, make plenty of trips to the water cooler each day! Rehydrating will help you feel better and be more productive – and it’s a great chance to catch up on the office gossip.

The Best Ways to Rehydrate

The good news is that rehydrating your body is a piece of cake.

The simplest way to hydrate is to drink water. (Bet you didn’t see that one coming).

Drink it slowly to avoid an upset stomach, and to give your body a chance to properly absorb it all – if you guzzle it down too quickly, your kidneys will just flush it all out, and that will mean plenty of trips to the bathroom!

If drinking water doesn’t really rev your engine, that’s ok! There are plenty of other ways to rehydrate your body.

Other beverages which can help you hydrate include coconut water, infused water* (eg. water with strawberry pieces), sports drink, juice, milk or soft drink! These are all perfectly acceptable ways to rehydrate.

Beyond drinking, you can get a lot of the fluids you need from food. From water-rich fruits and vegetables (watermelon, celery, cucumber, lettuce, etc.) to soups and even homemade popsicles (yum), there are plenty of meals that will help your body rehydrate.

Please note: If you are seriously dehydrated, you should seek medical attention. In extreme cases of dehydration, the safest way to rehydrate is with an IV tube under medical supervision.

How to Prevent Dehydration

The best defense is a good offense, so get on the front foot and try to avoid dehydration completely. Here are a few handy tips to help you maintain a healthy level of hydration!

  1. Keep a water bottle with you.

    Especially during the peak of summer, you can lose water fast! Invest in a nice, reusable water bottle to keep yourself hydrated and minimise your environmental impact.

  2. Dress for the weather.

    This might seem like a no-brainer, but wearing clothes that aren’t light or breathable enough can cause you to sweat a great deal more than usual. Be sure to check the weather each morning, and dress appropriately!

  3. Watch out for the symptoms of dehydration.

    Familiarise yourself with the symptoms in the list above, and if you start experiencing any of them, treat yourself to a tall glass of water. You deserve it.

  4. Look at your pee.

    Ok, it’s not the most savoury bit of advice you’ll ever get, but it’s a really helpful one! Looking into the toilet is the easiest way to tell if you’re properly hydrated or not. If your urine is darker than pale yellow, you need to drink more water. Simple.

So, there you have it – our handy guide to hydration! Once you get into the habit of staying hydrated, you’ll wonder who you ever got by without your trusty water bottle. Listen to your body, watch out for the signs of dehydration, and even when the weather cools down, don’t forget to keep your fluids up!