Now that summer is in full swing, many people end up spending a lot of time under the burning sun, whether it's because they're spending a relaxing day at the beach or perhaps it's because they have no choice but to work outside.
Whatever your reason for being in the sun is, it's important to remember to stay as hydrated as possible, since summertime is known to be the season of increased dehydration.
According to NHS Choices, “Your body needs water or other fluids to work properly and to avoid dehydration. That’s why it's important to drink enough fluids.
"In climates such as the UK's, we should drink about 1.2 liters (six to eight glasses) of fluid every day to stop us getting dehydrated. In hotter climates, the body needs more than this,” around 2 liters a day in the Mediterranean summer, and as much as 3 liters a day in arid landscapes, such as the Sahara Desert.
Some people like to count or note down how many glasses of water they've had per day, however, there's actually a much easier solution for you to keep track of your hydration levels, which is known as the pinch test.
It's a way of testing skin elasticity, or skin turgor, which is your skin’s ability to change shape and then return back to normal. Here's how you can carry out the pinch test:
1. Using two fingers, pinch the skin on the back of your hand, abdomen or lower arm.
2. Hold this pinch for a few seconds and then release it.
3. Watch for how quickly your skin goes back to its regular shape.
4. Skin that takes a while to go back to normal could be a sign of dehydration, while skin that changes back quickly is a sign of proper hydration.
According to Medline Plus, “Skin turgor is a sign of fluid loss (dehydration). Skin with normal turgor snaps rapidly back to its normal position. Skin with poor turgor takes time to return to its normal position.
"Lack of skin turgor occurs with moderate to severe fluid loss. Mild dehydration is when fluid loss of 5% of the body weight. Moderate dehydration is 10% loss and severe dehydration is 15% or more loss of body weight."