How do you know if you are dehydrated?
Just like air, food and sleep, water is vital because it is essential for the proper functioning of the body. In the Sahara, a young man in perfect health can die of dehydration in twenty-four hours. During a health check, the total water content of the body is systematically measured, and in the analyzes, this quantity appears under the terms of “specific gravity”.
Most of the therapists I’ve met recommend that you drink at least two liters of water a day, and the more heat and physical activity you have, the more water you need. “But I’m going to spend my life in the bathroom!” I exclaimed when I heard that. I was quickly reassured. Not only would my body adapt quickly, but most importantly my health would be improved. And indeed, since I followed this advice, I realized how much a lack of water can affect well-being, concentration and digestion. The symptoms of mild dehydration are many, and I will mention only a few: diffuse headaches, constipation, muscle cramps, slight ankle swelling, and … terrible bad mood.
A good way to know if you drink enough water is, on the one hand, to pay attention to the quantity, the color and the smell of your urine, and on the other hand, to observe the frequency of urination, knowing that a good daily average is between six and eight. If you want to do like the doctors in China and Tibet, you will use a glass container and close it tightly before holding it against the light. The urine must absolutely be pale yellow, and transparent, with very little or no floating particles, and the foam must not remain more than half a minute after closing the container. Similarly, the slight odor must dissipate quickly.
Some foods will have various effects on the urine. Thus, asparagus gives them a strong smell; the red beet gives them a pink color that makes one think of blood and frightens us; Vitamin B turns pale yellow to canary yellow. Medications, by the way, can also change the normal appearance of urine. But these variations are only temporary. Within 48 hours of eating the food or taking the medicine, it should be normal to return to normal.
To avoid spending time in the corner, many women prefer not to drink, even if they are thirsty. Big mistake! Severe chronic dehydration causes tissue accumulation not only of normal salt, but also of all kinds of minerals, such as magnesium. This accumulation of salts will have the effect of retaining liquids which, blocked in this way, cause the accumulation of water in the dehydrated tissue. This is edema. Needless to say, liquids no longer benefit the body. Edema is a sign of kidney and liver malfunction that affects the whole body, including hormonal balance. In other words, we must take the situation very seriously.
Water retention can occur in body parts where fat usually does not accumulate, such as in the ankles or on the eye socket. Simply push your finger for a second or two into a swollen ankle to see if the imprint left by the finger persists or not. The time required for the mark to subside gives the measure of the severity of the water retention. On the ankles of a healthy and perfectly hydrated person, the finger would not leave a mark.