Are we dehydrated and making it worse? New research shows more Americans will reach for over-the-counter medication to treat dehydration symptoms rather than drink a glass of H2O.
A study of 2,000 Americans examined their daily hydration habits and found that many suffer through common ailments like headaches and fatigue that could be remedied by drinking more water.
Nearly two in three (63%) admitted they’re likely to reach for a pain reliever when discomforts arise.
The average person has had two headaches, three muscle cramps and two dizzy spells in the last week alone – all of which are symptoms of chronic dehydration.
Yet when faced with these common ailments, taking a sip of water was not the respondents’ top choice to ease their pain.
The survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Essentia Water showed 45% want to lie down when experiencing a dizzy spell and one in five (20%) close their eyes until the unsteadiness passes.
Results revealed that respondents are severely falling behind when it comes to drinking enough water. One in ten (10%) confessed to only drinking one 8 oz glass a day and the average man and woman both estimated they have five 8 oz glasses (40 oz total) of water a day.
The average respondent thinks they’re one glass of water away from the daily recommended amount of water. However, with the average respondent only getting about 40 oz of water a day that’s not even half of the recommended amounts (101 oz for men and 74 for women).
One in two confessed to not hydrating as much as they should. Of those, over a third (36%) say they’re forgetful about hydration and 30% complain the recommended daily intake of water is too much.
Essentia Water Health & Wellness Advisor Dr. Dana Cohen, MD said, “Often when we feel fatigued or a headache coming on, we think we need to eat (or reach for medication), but really we need to drink. Researchers speculate that these ill effects are your brain’s built-in ‘alarm system,’ tipping you off to the fact that your body needs hydration ASAP.”
Drinking water appears to be a chore for many respondents with one in three drinking it because they “have to.” Three in ten complained they just don’t like the taste of water at all.
While respondents aren’t getting adequate hydration as adults, they’ve certainly improved on their childhood selves. One in two (50%) admitted they drink more water as adults than they did when they were young.
The average respondent started taking their hydration more seriously at 22 years old.
The most common drinks respondents swapped for water as they grew up were soda/pop (50%), energy drinks (27%) and coffee or tea (26%).
A second spokesperson for Essentia Water, Health & Nutrition Advisor Jessica Bippen, MS, RD, added, “Staying hydrated doesn’t have to feel like a chore, but it is a good habit. Flavoring water with your favorite fresh fruit and herbs is an easy way to keep it tasty and fresh, and using an app or setting reminders on your phone can help you stay consistent until it becomes second nature to drink enough water throughout the day.”
WHAT RESPONDENTS REACH FOR BASED ON AILMENT/SYMPTOM OF CHRONIC DEHYDRATION
- Take a pain reliever 43%
- Lie down 21%
- Drink water 16%
- Lie down 45%
- Close my eyes 20%
- Drink water 18%
- Drink water 72%
- Turn off lights 10%
- Lie down 7%
- Lie down 46%
- Close my eyes 22%
- Drink water 15%
- Drink water 53%
- Take a pain reliever 14%
- Lie down 13%
- Drink water 42%
- Take a pain reliever 19%
Common drinks respondents replaced with water as they aged
- Soda/pop 50%
- Energy drinks 27%
- Coffee/tea 26%
- Juice/smoothie 25%
- Sports drinks 21%
- Alcoholic beverages 14%