17/08/06 159020a Water Glasses for Saturday's cost of water story.
17/08/06 159020a Water Glasses for Saturday's cost of water story. MICHAELA GLEN/MG159020a

80% of Australians suffer effects of dehydration

FEELING lethargic? Struggling with concentration? Always suffering headaches? Struggling to sleep?

The solution may be as simple as drinking more water, according to new research out today.

According to the research from sparkling water company Sodastream, there is mass confusion around the effects of dehydration, with only a third (35%) of Australians recognising key symptoms like lethargy.

The research also showed that less than one in 10 Australians (6%) associate problems with concentration and mental impairment with dehydration, despite it being a common symptom for most (56%).

Widely believed myths around water consumption are exasperating the situation with half of Aussies (49%) falsely believing they should drink two litres of water a day to stay hydrated.

A further 20% believe drinking water when they are thirsty keeps them hydrated, not realising the effects of dehydration have already set in by that stage. 

Neuroscientist and Australian medical writer Dr Sarah McKay said: "The findings support scientific studies that show even mild dehydration can cause fatigue, increase in complaints of headache, thirst, sleepiness and concentration difficulties.

"Despite many believing that two litres is the recommended daily amount for all, the amount needed varies, dependent on individual factors including age, diet, climate and levels of physical activity.

"For men aged 19-70 it's actually considerably higher, at around 2.6 litres."

The research also found that parents are particularly concerned around hydration levels of their children with most parents (78%) claiming they want their children to drink more water.

Sodastream and Dr McKay say just putting some more bubbles in your water could help improve kids' hydration.

"As a mum, it can be challenging to get my kids to drink more water but Sodastream helps adds some fun and excitement to tap water and I've been able to help keep the whole family hydrated in a healthier way, with less drama getting the kids out the door to school in the morning,'' she said.

 

KEY FINDINGS

  • 80% of Australians suffer from symptoms typical of dehydration and the majority don't recognise key symptoms 
  • The most common symptoms affecting Australians are lethargy (62%) or loss of energy (51%)
  • New research from sparkling water company Sodastream reveals there is mass confusion around the effects of dehydration, with only a third (35%) of Australians recognising key symptoms like lethargy, despite the majority (80%) suffering on a regular basis.
  • The research also showed that less than one in 10 Australians (6%) associate problems with concentration and mental impairment with dehydration, despite it being a common symptom for most (56%).
  • Widely believed myths around water consumption are exasperating the situation with half of Aussies (49%) falsely believing they should drink two litres of water a day to stay hydrated. A further 20% believe drinking water when they are thirsty keeps them hydrated, not realising the effects of dehydration have already set in by that stage.
  •  Kids are most at risk and the majority of parents (78%) want their children to drink more water

Sarah McKay's top 5 tips for keeping hydrated:

• Train yourself into drinking more water by linking the action with other habitual activities like walking between rooms, washing your hands or switching tasks
• Drink two glasses of water before leaving home in the morning and another glass when you arrive at work or your destination
• Try and make tap water more exciting by carbonating to your taste with Sodastream and add fresh fruit juices for a twist
• Fill a reusable bottle with water for journeys; this will encourage you to drink more, save on the cost of buying bottled water and help the environment
• Keep hydration fun for your kids. Encourage them to make their own water-based drinks at home with fresh fruit, ice and bubbles


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