In health and wellness circles, hydration is talked about a lot, and with good reason! It’s one of the most important factors that can affect your day to day sense of wellbeing. Symptoms of dehydration can include headaches, dizziness, nausea and as it gets worse, mood swings, confusion and vomiting. Fortunately most of us are able to arrest the problem before it gets much past a head-ache or a bit of difficulty concentrating, but it’s well worth thinking about the times when hydration is more important – when it’s easier to slip deeper into a spiral of dehydration that could have serious consequences.
Today we’re taking a look at some of these situations to help you make plans to stay happy, healthy and at your very best.
So many of the symptoms that make up the typical hangover are actually symptoms of dehydration. Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it causes our bodies to lose water – in perspiration, through breathing, through urination and potentially through vomiting too. In small quantities, and especially if spaced out between soft drinks, the impact is minimal, but if you don’t take those precautions the next day can be unpleasant!
The headache, muscle aches, anxiety and nausea of the hangover are all at least partly caused by dehydration, so slowly drinking a pint of water when you wake up can help you to recover. It’s important to remember that you haven’t just lost water though, you’ve also lost electrolytes – the salts dissolved in that water your body uses to balance fluid levels between your cells and your bloodstream, to transmit impulses from your brain to your muscles, even to maintain a regular heartbeat!
Taking rehydration tablets for hangover symptoms can have dramatic results, as you don’t just replenish your lost fluid but your electrolytes at the same time!
When you’re sick, you may be suffering symptoms that can contribute to dehydration, like fevers, vomiting and diarrhea. Whatever the problem, you’re also likely lacking in the energy to get up for a fresh glass of water every time you need one.
Try keeping a jug by your sick bed so you don’t have to get up as often, and keep sipping at a glass regularly. If you’re lacking the drive to do so, you might try using more flavoursome alternatives to water like squashes, fruit juices and teas.
Whatever your workout, you put stress on your body. You raise your heartrate, speed up your metabolism, and your core temperature goes up. This leads to increased (and sometimes quite dramatic perspiration, which reduces your fluid reserves and electrolyte levels.
Hydrate before and during exercise, and follow up afterwards with rehydration tablets or sachets or a sports rehydration drink. Drinks marked ‘isotonic’ contain all the salts, sugars and fluid you need to rehydrate most efficiently and healthily.