Summer heat: How to recognize that you should drink more water

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When it’s hot, it’s particularly important to drink enough fluids. But how can you tell? A dermatologist explains.
A skin tension test should show whether the body is sufficiently hydrated. For example, you form a fold of skin with your thumb and index finger on the back of your other hand. It should quickly snap back to its normal position if you let go of it. If the fold is slow to smooth out again, this is a sign of poor skin tension, indicating dehydration. Time to have a drink. So far, so obvious.
Pay attention to physical symptoms
However, dermatologist Christoph Liebich believes other methods are better for determining whether you have been drinking too little. “I would rather determine it by physical symptoms: feeling limp, headaches, dry oral mucosa,” says the doctor.

The reason is that the skin does not react as quickly to a lack of fluids. “Of course, as a dermatologist, I may see that the skin no longer has the shine and juiciness. It’s difficult for laypeople to judge,” says Liebich.

With a view to the coming hot days, he generally advises people to “keep drinking” and to drink more than the recommended minimum of around 1.5 liters of water. “You can hardly drink too much.”

Water over your arms and in the shade at lunchtime
Water is also his preferred way of cooling down: letting it flow ice-cold from the tap over his hands and the lower two-thirds of his forearms for a few minutes. “That’s the most pleasant way,” says Liebich.

On sunny and hot days, it is better to stay in the shade between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., advises the dermatologist. And don’t worry: if you go out in the sun before and after, you will still produce enough vitamin D and happiness hormones – even if you wear sun cream, says Liebich. He emphasizes: “Sun protection is the be-all and end-all, because the alternative is skin cancer.”

  • hp/picture: pixabay.com

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