Dehydration can cause similar symptoms to perimenopauseMany of the women I talk with are experiencing symptoms like mood swings, anxiety, stress, irritability and difficulty concentrating, and while these can all be related to perimenopause (the years leading up to menopause) they can also be signs of dehydration.

The human body is 50-60 percent water – our bodies depend on it to function properly. However, we can’t “store” water, so every day we need to replenish fluids lost through sweating (including hot flushes and night sweats), urination, bowel movements, and even breathing.

So how much should we be drinking? Experts now agree there’s no “one size fits all” formula; the amount we need depends on factors like our body size, metabolism, the weather, activity levels, what we eat and how much water we lose each day through bodily functions.

A simple way to tell if you’re getting enough fluids is by checking your urine. If you’re peeing every two to four hours, it’s light-colored, and there’s a decent amount of it, then you’re probably well-hydrated!

3 simple ways to increase your daily fluid intake

  • Keep a water bottle or a jug of water on your desk or nearby so that you can sip throughout the day – it’s usually easier to drink small amounts over a longer period than to drink a whole glass at a time
  • If you don’t like the taste of water here are some options to give it a bit of zing – just add one or more of the following: a slice or squeeze of lemon or lime, berries or sliced melon, sliced cucumber, unsweetened cranberry juice, or crushed mint leaves
  • Consume more food and beverages with a high-water content like herbal teas, fresh fruit, vegetables (e.g. cucumber, celery, capsicums and lettuce), soups, smoothies, dairy/non-dairy milks, and unsweetened yoghurt. Coffee and tea also count towards your daily intake (as do juices, but be aware of the sugar content)