Dehydration is a state where your body has lost more fluids than it has taken in.
Thankfully, there is a quick test to see if you are drinking enough water – and it takes seconds.
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The dehydration test
The “skin turgor” test measures the ability of your skin to change shape and return to normal again.
It’s backed by the National Library of Medicine, a US-based health information site and advises the following steps:
Grasp skin between two fingers. This can be from your lower arm, abdomen or the back of your hand.
Hold for a few seconds, then release.
Observe how long skin takes to go back to its normal position.
While hydrated skin which “snaps” quickly back to its normal position, skin which takes time to return – ie, has poor turgor – is dehydrated.
How to prevent dehyrdation
The NHS recommends drinking six to eight glasses of fluid a day. This can include water, low fat milk and sugar-free drinks including tea and coffee.
Take small sips of fluids if you feel dehydration symptoms, the health body advises. And make sure you drink enough to keep your urine a pale, clear colour.
If you think you are at higher risk of dehydration – examples can include if you are vomiting, sweating or have diarrhoea – be sure to increase your water intake.