7 Simple Steps to Avoid Dehydration

7 Simple Steps to Avoid Dehydration

With the weather here in the UK heating up and a forecast for some very hot days ahead, it's vital for our health that we understand the effects of dehydration, and how to stay hydrated.

What Causes Dehydration?
Dehydration can occur when water intake is less than water loss. Some common causes can be:

  • elevated blood sugar levels – in diabetics or those eating too many processed and sugary foods
  • stress
  • diuretics – tea, coffee, pop, alcohol
  • drugs – including tobacco
  • environmental – air con, pollution, air travel, electrical (VDU, mobiles)
  • sweating – high air temperatures and strenuous exercise
  • diarrhoea
  • vomiting

How to Avoid Becoming Dehydrated


  • drink hydrating fluids regularly throughout the day (at least 1.5 to 2 litres altogether)
  • hydrate before, during and after intense exercise
  • eat more fruit and vegetables (they have a high water content)
  • cut down on processed and sugary foods
  • limit diuretics
  • avoid being out in very hot weather for too long without plentiful hydrating fluids
  • address any longer term or recurring causes listed above

 What Are The Symptoms of Dehydration?

Well known symptoms include:

  • mid to dark yellow coloured urine
  • constipation – fluid is removed from faeces
  • inflammation – dehydration is always present
  • headaches
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • low energy – feeling tired or sleepy
  • dryness – in the eyes, mouth, skin (e,g, eczema), vagina
  • fluid retention – due to a toxic build up
  • lack of thirst – often due to excess stimulants i.e. tea, coffee, alcohol
  • muscle cramps

Symptoms of severe dehydration can include sunken eyes, low blood pressure, rapid breathing, rapid heartbeat, fever and an intensified version of symptoms listed above. If you think you may be severely dehydrated, speak to a medical professional or call for help as a matter of urgency.