x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Food for Thought: avoiding dehydration

Getting enough fluids is important, but the most commonly quoted measurement may not be enough during the summer.

The summer is fast approaching and with the soaring temperatures outside and the raging air conditioning inside provide a recipe for dehydration. It isn't called the "source of life" without reason, water really is just that, second only to oxygen.

According to the British NHS symptoms of dehydration include headaches, dizziness, tiredness, lethargy, dry mouth, lips and eyes and urination less than four times a day. In slightly more serious cases we see constipation, liver, joint and muscle damage and cholesterol problems, while severe cases can exhibit low blood pressure and loss of consciousness. So while it really is important that we make sure we get enough water, how much is enough? That depends, because fluid requirements vary so much depending on age, lifestyle and activity levels.

The popular "eight eight-ounce glasses" – 1.9 litres – rule tends to lack substantiating evidence, although it is easy to remember and its is a good place to start. The Institute of Medicine determined that an average male requires more like three litres (13 cups) and a female 2.2 litres (nine cups) of fluids each day.

In our Arabian summer we de¿nitely need to be aiming for these quantities to make sure we stay well hydrated. Ideally, this quota should be from water and fluids that are caffeine and sugar-free. Interestingly, one of the most hydrating fluids is also one that is readily available from corner juice shops - coconut water, which has high levels of electrolytes that are responsible for hydration and a great option for children.

Laura Holland is a well-being consultant and nutritional therapist. For more information, go to www.BeUTifulYou.Com