When the weather’s warm, you need to make sure you drink enough fluids. But did you know that you lose your sense of thirst as you get older? This means you’re more likely to become dehydrated, making you more prone to falls, heart disease, urinary-tract infections, kidney stones and confusion.
A study from Loughborough University in the UK has shown that drivers who had only a few sips of water an hour made twice as many mistakes as motorists who were properly hydrated – in fact, they made a similar number of errors to what you’d expect from someone over the drink-drive limit.
So how do you know when you’re dehydrated? Warning signs include:
- Feeling tired
- Dry mouth and dry skin
- Dark urine
- Reduced appetite
- Reduced concentration
But you might not notice any symptoms at all, so to make sure you stay hydrated:
- Keep a glass of water by your side when you’re at home, and sip from it regularly.
- Form a new drinking habit – for example, when watching TV, always reach for the water glass during an ad break.
- Take a small bottle of water with you when you go out.
- Always drink a large glass of water with a meal.
- Eat fruit and veg with high water content.
- Draw up a weekly water card – a bit like a coffee loyalty card – with a target of eight glasses of water a day. Mark it every time you have a glass of water, Award yourself a prize when it’s full at the end of the week,
- Drink water before, during and after you take any exercise.