Are you drinking enough water especially on these hot summer days? A very simple guideline: if you're urine isn't a pale yellow (unless you're taking B vitamins that make it bright), you're not drinking enough. For every coffee, alcoholic beverage or caffeine drink consumed, you should consume twice the same amount in water.
Here's a good summary article on the bigger things to watch for:
Many of us walk around in a state of mild to moderate dehydration because we often don’t consume enough liquids to supply our bodies with the hydration it needs to function at its best. Chronic dehydration stresses our organs and can interfere with bodily functions leading in some cases to illness, irritability, fatigue, difficulty focusing and more. Hot weather and physical activity deplete our body’s water, making drinking water essential in warm climates, especially during summer months, and before, during and after exercise. So unless you’re on a fluid-restricted regimen prescribed by a healthcare professional, you should be drinking up on a regular basis.
Below are some simple signs to look for that could indicate you’re dehydrated:
Your skin and mouth are dry
You have a headache
You’re dizzy or lightheaded
Your urine is dark yellow
You feel sluggish and foggy brained
You constantly crave snacks and sugar
In extreme cases, you might experience confusion, palpitations, fainting, weakness, decreased urination and in severe cases, seizures. These symptoms require immediate medical attention.
Of course all of the above can be caused by a variety of things, but even mild dehydration can have a more negative effect on your physical and mental well-being then most of us realize. Plus, the older we get, the more prone we are to dehydration with serious consequences.
How Much Water is Enough?
A good guide for whether you’re well hydrated is the color and concentration of your urine. If it’s pale yellow like lemonade, you’re probably getting enough. If it’s darker yellow and appears more concentrated, you probably need to drink more. If your urine is clear and colorless, you’re probably drinking too much water and should slow down on the water drinking.
Good hydration on a regular basis will keep you physically and mentally at your best, today and for years to come. And remember to always check with your healthcare provider about proper fluid intake if you have a medical condition before dramatically increasing how much water you drink.
Severe dehydration, a medical emergency, can cause:
Extreme fussiness or sleepiness in infants and children; irritability and confusion in adults
Very dry mouth, skin and mucous membranes
Little or no urination — any urine that is produced will be darker than normal
Shriveled and dry skin that lacks elasticity and doesn’t “bounce back” when pinched into a fold
In infants, sunken fontanels — the soft spots on the top of a baby’s head
Low blood pressure
No tears when crying
In the most serious cases, delirium or unconsciousness
Get immediate medical care if you develop severe signs and symptoms such as extreme thirst, a lack of urination, shriveled skin, dizziness and confusion.
Treat children and older adults with greater caution. Call your family doctor right away if your loved one:
Develops severe diarrhea, with or without vomiting or fever
Has bloody or black stool
Has had moderate diarrhea for 24 hours or more
Can’t keep down fluids
Is irritable or disoriented and much sleepier or less active than usual
Has any of the signs or symptoms of mild or moderate dehydration
Courtesy of http://www.healthdigezt.com/