The importance of hydration

So what is hydration?

Hydration is the measurement of fluid in the body. The more hydrated we are, the better our body can perform vital functions.

Facts about water

Our body is made up of over two thirds water. This water is responsible for helping our bodies to perform such functions as: 

  • Lubrication of the joints
  • Transportation of oxygen and nutrients to the cells via blood (which is made up of 83% water)
  • Removing toxins and waste from the body
  • Regulation of body temperature
  • Protection of our internal organs and tissues.

What is the impact of dehydration

Dehydration simply occurs when the normal levels of body fluid is reduced. 

You may find you experience:

  • Dark coloured urine
  • Thirst
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness

In more extreme cases:

  • Confusion
  • Lack of energy
  • Loss of strength
  • Tiredness
  • Unable to pass urine
  • Weak or rapid pulse
  • Irritability
  • Reduced bowel movements

Causes of dehydration

What is the impact of dehydration

The risk of dehydration can be drastically increased during bouts of illness, during exercise or when drinking alcohol.

Illness

Dehydration is often the result of an illness, such as gastroenteritis, where fluid is lost through persistent bouts of diarrhoea and vomiting. Gastroenteritis is often caused by the Norovirus and Rotavirus.

Norovirus (winter vomiting bug), is the most common stomach bug in the UK and each year it is estimated that between 600,000 and 1 million people in the UK catch the winter vomiting virus. See our infographic to find out more and for some tips on what you can do.

Those with an underlying medical condition, like diabetes, are also particularly vulnerable to dehydration.

NOROVIRUS
INFOGRAPHIC

HYDRO
INFOGRAPHIC

HOW HYDRATED AM I?

Do you think you drink enough fluids?

Take our short quiz and find out?

1 Do I drink 6-8 glasses of water per day?

2 Is my urine light yellow (straw coloured)

3 Does my skin rebound immediately when pinched (skin turgor test)

4 Does my nail return to normal colour within two seconds after applying 5 seconds of pressure (capillary refill test)

If you have answered yes to all of the question, then you are hydrated. If you have answered no to two or more, it could indicate you may be dehydrated.

Scroll down for some top tips on how to stay hydrated.

How to stay hydrated