How hydrated are you? Pinch yourself to find out

You’re probably familiar with some of the more common signs of dehydration.

Dizziness? Dry mouth? They can signal that it’s time to drink up. But did you know that your biggest organ of all – the skin – can also be a big clue that you’re not getting enough high-quality H2O?

Ever heard of skin turgor? It refers to the skin’s elasticity and its ability to spring back to normal after changing shape.

How to check your skin turgor:

  1. Use your pointer finger and thumb to pinch the skin on the back of your hand, gently pulling it up to form a tent shape.
  2. Hold for a few seconds, then release.
  3. Observe how fast the skin springs back into its normal position.

If the skin snaps back fast, you’ve got normal skin turgor. If it takes a while to return to its position, your skin turgor is poor – this could be an indication of moderate to severe fluid loss. In that case, we suggest seeing a doctor for help with getting back to a healthy level of hydration.

For those who just want to make sure they’re getting enough fluids on the daily:

  • Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to reach for a glass. By then, you could already be heading for dehydration.
  • Always take a water bottle with you when you work out to help replenish what you sweat out. It’s a no brainer.
  • Choose a sports drink, or coconut water, if you’ve been through an intense workout. This’ll replace lost electrolytes.
  • Eat fruit. Lots of different fruits have a water content of more than 80%. Fruits high in potassium (like bananas) are useful too, for replacing lost electrolytes.
  • Set reminders to drink water. Use your calendar or alarm as a reminder, or make use of the many apps available to send you push notifications.

We learnt all this from Greatist. Have a read if you want to know more about hydration, and don’t forget to pinch yourself.