More water a day will keep the doctor away
GPs find it “surprisingly common” to have appointments taken up by patients suffering from dehydration, according to new research.
A survey of 300 doctors found one in five patients go to their GP with symptoms that can be caused by not drinking enough, such as tiredness. Within those figures, just four per cent of doctors said they believed patients were aware of how much water they should be drinking each day.
Research was carried out by the Natural Hydration Council, which represents bottled water firms.
“I see many people in my surgery who are feeling tired all the time. There are, of course, several reasons that could be causing this but a surprisingly common cause is that they are dehydrated,” said GP Dr Roger Henderson, who is an adviser to the NHC. “Many of my patients do not drink enough fluid each day and only believe they are dehydrated when they start to feel thirsty. Yet other symptoms of dehydration appear before this, including fatigue and tiredness, headaches and poor concentration.”
According to the NHS, adult women should consume 1.6 litres of fluid a day, while men should have two litres. This is the equivalent of eight and ten glasses respectively. While water is the best way to stay hydrated, this daily recommendation can include tea, coffee and fruit juice.
Other benefits of drinking water includes helping keep your skin clear and also aiding weight loss, as it can flush the toxins out of your body.
“When people start to ensure they are staying fully hydrated they are often surprised at how much better they feel, both physically and mentally,” Dr Henderson added. “It is, therefore, vital that drinking enough water becomes part of our daily routine.”
If you find drinking water all day a bit of a chore, try jazzing it up a bit with pieces of fruit such as lemon and lime or cucumber, which can all make it taste more refreshing. If you fancy something with a bit of fizz, how about investing in a SodaStream and having sparkling water on tap? Or using a filter jug may help improve the taste and remove minor contaminants while chilling tap water in the fridge can make it take nicer as well as keep the cost of buying bottled water down.