1) Why is it important to stay hydrated during such high temperatures, how much water do we need?
Every organ and cell in the human body require water in order to function efficiently. 70% of the human body is made up of water. Summer is the longest season here in the UAE and it becomes extremely important to stay hydrated throughout in order to replace the water that people lose from their bodies during daily activities like sweating and urinating. Hence, it becomes important to drink water from time to time and hydrate the body. Apart from drinking water, it is also essential to consume fruits high in water content like cucumber, watermelon, and tomato to keep the skin and digestive system healthy. However, drinking water is important irrespective of the season, there are plenty of reasons to drink water.
Water intake differs in people depending on their age, weight, dietary practices. Infants and children require to drink more amount of water as they tend to get dehydrated quicker than adults. Slightly older children require half a liter water per day. Water consumption in adults ranges from 2.5 to 3 liters per day.
2) What happens to the body when it’s dehydrated and what are the dangers/ symptoms of conditions?
Dehydration occurs when the body loses more water than it consumes, preventing it from performing normal daily functions. The slightest percentage of dehydration also can harm the body.
Exhaustion or fainting is one of the most common after effects of dehydration. The blood becomes thick because of the lack of water, making it difficult for the body’s cardiovascular system to compensate by increasing the heart rate to maintain a normal blood pressure. In such situations if the body is pushed to work or exposed to heat, there is a risk of exhaustion. With reduced water consumption, a person tends to urinate less because the cell functions are affected if sufficient water doesn’t reach the organs of the body. This triggers the kidneys to retain water. Water helps is regulating normal body temperature which gets affected when the body gets dehydrated. Dehydration also causes often causes dry mouth, reduced water levels in the body causes the salivary glands to produce less saliva which causes bacteria build up.
There is not always a visible symptom of dehydration which is why it is extremely important to keep drinking water at regular intervals throughout the day. Symptoms of dehydration are as follows;
- Increased thirst
- Dry mouth and tongue
- Less frequency of urination
- Dark colored urine
3) Are people in the UAE drinking enough water in general, if not why do you think so?
People often miss out on drinking water, as unusual as it may sound. During the day people are caught up at work with their busy schedules and often fail to perform one of the simplest yet crucial task of drinking water. People think it is good enough to drink water only when you are thirsty, which is not the case. It is extremely important to frequently drink water at regular intervals throughout the day.
Moreover, the summer season makes you want to drink something chilled, causing people to drink juices and other aerated drinks. No amount of other fluids can compensate for water.
4) Is there an increase of cases of dehydration during the summer months?
Yes, there are increased chances of cases of dehydration especially in summer months, as there is rapid fluid and salts lost from our body, which can result in weakness, tiredness, muscle cramps.
5) What are some tips and advice for people in the UAE?
People in the UAE need to be extra sure that they are drinking enough water to replenish their body’s water requirement, given the scorching summer heat we receive in this part of the region.
- The first and most important thing to do is drink plenty of water. Water is the most important thing to keep yourself hydrated
- If drinking water gets boring, you can tweak simple plain water for infused water by adding your favorite fruits in water which makes it incredibly refreshing and gives a new taste to water.
- Make healthy food choices and consume lots of fruits and vegetables high in water content, like cucumber, tomato, watermelon etc.
- Cut down on caffeinated drinks and aerated beverages. Coffee further dehydrated the body, instead switch to flavored tea.
- Drink coconut water as it is a rich source of magnesium and potassium and is very low in calories. Coconut water also contains electrolytes which replenish energy.
- Avoid direct sunlight during peak hours whenever possible.
Aster Clinic, Karama (DMMC)