NEW YORK — Although many people know they need to drink more water, it turns out few are actually treating their dehydration with water! In fact, some are doing things which just make things 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 people examined their daily hydration habits and finds 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 suffers two headaches, three muscle cramps, and two dizzy spells over a week’s time – 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, shows 45 percent want to lie down when experiencing a dizzy spell and one in five close their eyes until the unsteadiness passes.
Americans are not getting nearly enough water
One in ten respondents confessed to only drinking one 8-oz. glass a day. The average man and woman both estimated they have five 8-oz. glasses (40 oz. total) of water each day. The average respondent adds they think they’re only one glass of water away from the daily recommended amount of water. However, with the average respondent is only getting about 40 oz. of water a day, that’s not even half of the recommended amount! Health experts advise that men take in 101 oz. of water and women drink 74 oz. each day.
One in two people admit to not hydrating as much as they should. Of those, over a third (36%) say they’re forgetful about hydration and 30 percent complain the recommended daily intake of water is too much for them.
“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,” says Essentia Water Health & Wellness Advisor Dr. Dana Cohen, MD, in a statement.
Getting better with age at least
Drinking water appears to be a chore for many respondents, with one in three drinking it only because they “have to.” Three in ten complained they just don’t like the taste of water at all. While respondents still aren’t getting adequate hydration as adults, they’ve certainly improved on the habits they had as children.
One in two (50%) say they drink more water as an adult 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%).
“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,” adds Jessica Bippen, MS, RD, another Essentia Water, Health & Nutrition Advisor.