A lot of people underestimate the effects of dehydration, mainly because they don’t understand that the body is made up of 60 percent water. When this percentage shifts, everything is affected. Your cognitive function slows, your energy levels drop, and your mood changes constantly. The University of Connecticut released findings that indicate ways that people unknowingly dehydrate themselves. When hot weather, poor hydration habits, and physical activities aren’t to blame, you have to investigate which of these 5 reasons are to blame for your chronic dehydration.
It’s obvious: alcohol dehydrates. The less obvious fact is that you don’t need to get drunk to reduce your fluid levels. The logic is quite simple, really. All those bathroom trips during happy hour are a result of a complex mechanism that pushes most water out of your system.
Alcohol has a diuretic effect, which causes your cells to drain water to your bladder. Even fluid that’s supposed to be sent back to your body goes to your bladder, too, leaving you thirsty and fatigued for hours at most. This is because alcohol also disables you from experiencing the initial symptoms of dehydration. You could be drinking for a while before the signs hit you, and then it could be too late to grab a glass of water because you’re already passed out on your couch.
It seems there’s no end to how badly stress can affect your health. Keeping your favorite flavored water bottle brands within reach could help you avoid dehydration, but there’s more to that sudden thirst than you might realize.
A lot of things happen when your stressors trigger your adrenal glands to produce stress hormones. Constant stress means these glands are overworked, and eventually, they become too taxed to function normally. The interesting part is that these are the same glands that produce aldosterone, the hormone responsible for regulating your body’s fluid levels and electrolytes. The fewer the aldosterone produced, the higher the chances of suffering from chronic dehydration.
The next time you’re feeling stressed, stock up on those flavored water and hydrate while you take a much-needed break. Proper stress management skills are the only real solution to overtaxed adrenal glands.
Low-carb diets continue to be the go-to option for people who want to lose weight fast. The problem with this is that fluids and carbohydrates are stored together, which explains the water weight you lose at the onset of this diet. Add the fact that common carbs like rice, oatmeal, and pasta absorb water while they’re being cooked, and it’s easy to see just how much fluid you’re cutting back on your meals. The way to balance it is to transition to this diet slowly and increase your intake of fruits and vegetables.
Fruits and veggies do contain carbohydrates but in varying amounts, so it’s up to you to decide which to include in your meals.
Some of the low-carb options you have include watermelons, berries, avocados, peaches, honeydew, cucumbers, celery, spinach, cauliflower, bell peppers, and radishes. Consuming these is a healthy means to get the daily recommended nutrient intake for your gender and age group and to maintain healthy fluid levels.
Taking Dietary Supplements
This doesn’t mean that you should stop taking dietary supplements. It simply points out a common side effect that will leave you dehydrated. Just like alcohol, these supplements are likely to send you to the bathroom more frequently. Ingredients like dandelion, celery seed, and watercress are known to produce this effect. If you notice that nature calls more often when you take these supplements, consider replacing them with a better alternative or consulting with your doctor.
Post Workout Carelessness
The truth is that a lot of people who live active lifestyles don’t know how much water they need to drink after their workout. This leaves them feeling thirsty, dizzy, and tired even hours after their spin class. If you’ve experienced this before, then this means that you need to be more mindful of your water intake. As a rule of thumb, you have to drink at least 16 ounces of water for every pound of water weight you lost during your workout. Weigh yourself before and after you hop on the treadmill and take note of the numbers. Neglecting your hydration can lead to health conditions and even injuries in the future.
Everyone should take their hydration seriously, as dehydration can have an immediate impact on your daily activities. When you’re taking active measures to ensure that you’re consuming the right amount of fluids to keep your body functioning at its best, you’ll notice that your performance starts to improve as well.