5

Drinking too much (and wasting it) or insufficient water quantity can be dangerous. The current method that I am using to judge if I am doing it correctly is urine colour:

  • clear white - if water is not abundant, you are wasting it!
  • very light yellow - correct "setting"
  • dark yellow - dehydration has begun occurring (now a lot more water and a long rest are needed to exit this condition, otherwise body and mind begin suffering and chances of survival drop).

Is this method reliable? If not, which one would be?

8

I often heard this method is reliable and I am also using it. From experience I can say it works. Also if you search the web you will find articles like for example this and this.

Also available are color charts to get an visual impression, see e.g.:

enter image description here

Besides that personally I know that I am not prone to get headache. So when I start getting slight headache I am aware it could be due to dehydration. Often it helps to drink some water which is the cheapest and healthiest medication against headache.

From the link above you see there are a lot of symptons to be aware:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue/Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Dry Skin
  • Dry mouth/lips
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Agitation
  • High body temperature
  • Convulsions
  • Unresponsiveness

If you get one or several symptons or your physical perception changes, you should be aware it could be dehydration. Because, as I already said, the medication has no negative effects at all you should simply use it just in case.

Still keep in mind that you could get the symptons because of other reasons/diseases too and if nothing changes after you got hydrated you should start investigating. One common issue is AMS (altitude mountain sickness) which has a lot of similar symptons than dehydration. So simply drinking water might not help you if you are getting headaches and start feeling dizzy/fatigue at higher elevation.

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    Lol my friends work has the urine chart in every toilet... we joked about it but actually... it's very handy. – Aravona Jun 16 '15 at 7:18
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    This is a great answer (+1), but it seems my question is a duplicate. I am voting to close it. Maybe it would be sensible for a moderator to move your answer to the other thread and delete my question. – Vorac Jun 16 '15 at 10:26
  • Thx and yes I also didn't realise we have a duplicate here... – Wills Jun 16 '15 at 10:32
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    One caveat is that if you are dehydrated you need FLUIDS (water + electrolytes, etc.) not just water. – Clay Nichols May 9 '17 at 13:53

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