For some people, staying hydrated isn’t as easy as grabbing a bottle of water when they’re thirsty. Chronic dehydration is a condition where a person cannot stay hydrated no matter how much they drink. Chronic dehydration treatment with IV treatments can help prevent long-term health complications.
- Chronic dehydration occurs when a person cannot stay hydrated regardless of how much they drink.
- There are many potential causes of chronic dehydration, such as stress, activity levels, and genetics.
- IV hydration is a more effective treatment for chronic dehydration than oral solutions because the fluids are delivered directly into your bloodstream, bypassing any absorption issues in your digestive system.
- Knowing the best kind of drinks for dehydration can help you stay hydrated and feel your best.
What is Chronic Dehydration?
Typically, drinking enough water and eating foods with a naturally high water content are sufficient to keep you hydrated. However, some people can develop a condition known as chronic dehydration, where a person cannot maintain adequate hydration no matter how much water they drink.
Unlike acute dehydration, which can be corrected by grabbing a glass of water, chronic dehydration persists even after attempting to rehydrate. Since chronic dehydration can lead to health problems, taking steps to correct this imbalance as soon as possible can optimize your overall wellness.
What Causes Chronic Dehydration?
There are many possible causes of chronic dehydration. Identifying your risk factors can help you make informed decisions on how to effectively hydrate, saving you time and reducing the hassle of trial and error.
Prescription medications are great at improving a whole host of symptoms and treating many types of illnesses. However, some prescriptions can actually dehydrate you. Diuretics are substances which increase your frequency of urination, meaning that you can become dehydrated more quickly than you expect.
Certain medications have side effects such as vomiting or diarrhea, which, when used over an extended period of time, can also contribute to chronic dehydration.
Be aware of the potential side effects of any prescription medication you are taking. This awareness can help you take steps to prevent chronic dehydration before it starts.
These days, stress is all too commonplace at the office or on campus. The connection between stress and hydration is something of a vicious cycle.
Our bodies need a baseline of fluids to function properly. Factors such as physical activity, the temperature outside, and – you guessed it – stress can increase how quickly our bodies become dehydrated. Dehydration can increase your body’s level of cortisol, the main stress hormone, which in turn leads to increased stress.
In addition to this, stress itself puts a greater strain on your body and leads to an increased fluid intake to maintain optimal hydration levels. Stress can decrease your body’s production of the hormone aldosterone, which is primarily in charge of regulating sodium conservation. Although this hormone only indirectly influences water retention and loss, it can still impact your overall hydration.
If you’re feeling stressed, reach for a glass of water and take a few minutes to meditate. You’ll start feeling the positive effects of healthy hydration in no time.
Whether you’re a casual gym-goer or a dedicated athlete, physical activity depletes your body’s level of hydration. Sweating causes you to lose essential electrolytes and fluids which must be restored to help you stay at optimal hydration.
It can be easy to lose track of how much water you’ve had when you have been working out. By divvying up your hydration routine in to Pre-workout, Mid-workout, and especially Post-workout hydration, you can prevent yourself from becoming dehydrated.
Post-workout hydration in particular is easy for most casual gym-goers to skip, since exercise-related dehydration is often associated with professional or endurance athletes. This can lead to a build up of dehydration over time, which means that you’ll wind up working to catch up from behind.
In addition to dehydration, electrolyte loss can also contribute to muscle cramping. Taking steps to stay hydrated before, during, and after your workout can not only prevent dehydration, it can help improve your workout recovery.
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What Happens When You Are Dehydrated?
Hydration is important for everyone, but is especially crucial for athletes, the elderly, people who are taking certain medications, and people who are battling illness or recovering from surgery.
While skipping a glass of water might not seem like a big deal in the moment, dehydration can cause many uncomfortable symptoms. Left unchecked, dehydration can become severe and lead to hospitalization in some cases.
But what really happens when you are dehydrated? Because every single one of your cells require an adequate amount of fluid to function properly, dehydration can impact your entire body.
Headaches and Confusion
Dehydration headaches are inconvenient and often painful. In some individuals, dehydration headaches can actually trigger migraines.
Dehydration reduces the amount of cushioning fluid that surrounds your brain. The end result is that your brain actually pulls away from the interior of your skull, causing the symptoms of a dehydration headache.
Confusion is another potential symptom of dehydration. If you are feeling confused or unable to focus for no apparent reason, make sure you’re hydrated.
Without adequate hydration, your body goes into conservation mode. Your cells need fluid to operate properly, so when they don’t have enough fluid to produce the energy you need to feel your best, you might feel fatigued or tired.
If you are suddenly, inexplicably tired, grab a glass of water. Dehydration might be the culprit.
Your Urine Turns Dark Yellow
Dark yellow urine is a tell-tale sign of dehydration. To conserve water when you are dehydrated, your kidneys slow down urine production. As a result, your urine can turn a dark yellow color as the contents become concentrated.
Dry Mouth and Dry Skin
Short-term dehydration can cause your mouth to develop a dry, sticky feeling. For people with chronic dehydration, your skin can become dry and start to flake or take on a pinched appearance.
Dehydration can cause muscle cramps in anyone who is active. People who live in Los Angeles are especially susceptible to dehydration during a workout. Both heat and sweating contribute to becoming dehydrated quickly, increasing the likelihood of developing muscle cramps without rehydrating regularly.
How to Treat Chronic Dehydration
There are many natural ways to treat chronic dehydration. Using a combination of techniques can help you stay hydrated and feel great all day.
- Increase your intake of water and keep track of how much water you are drinking each day.
- Add electrolyte-infused beverages, such as sports beverages or oral rehydration solutions, to your routine.
- Consider rotating natural juice into your routine.
- Keep a powdered oral rehydration solution on hand for an on-the-go electrolyte boost.
- Adjust your fluid intake if you are taking medicines that contribute to dehydration.
- Eat plenty of fluid-heavy fruits and vegetables such as watermelon, berries, cucumbers, and lettuce.
- Read the labels on the food you purchase and opt for low-sodium options.
- IV fluids for dehydration at home ensure fast, thorough hydration on your time and schedule.
In some cases, the cause of chronic dehydration is an underlying condition such as diabetes, kidney problems, or malabsorption issues. If your symptoms do not improve, you may want to consider scheduling an appointment with your doctor. Left untreated, dehydration can cause a host of issues from dry skin to low energy, and even hospital visits in worst-case scenarios.
Oral Versus Intravenous Absorption
When you’re dehydrated, the first thing you will probably do is grab a glass or bottle of water. Although hydrating this way is easy and takes care of mild dehydration given some time, oral hydration isn’t as efficient as it may seem. When it comes to quickly rehydrating your body, IV hydration is better than drinking fluids for treating dehydration.
Your digestive system has to use some of the water you’ve ingested to process the liquid at all. IV hydration therapy is administered directly into your bloodstream, bypassing your stomach, where it is instantly available to your cells for fast, 100% absorption.
Mild dehydration can be corrected easily by drinking water or eating fluid-rich foods such as fruit or vegetables. Moderate and severe dehydration, on the other hand, can be quickly corrected with IV hydration therapy.
How Long Does it Take to Hydrate Your Body?
There isn’t a single set time for how long it takes to hydrate your body. The time it takes to fully rehydrate depends on a lot of factors, including:
- What you are drinking (water, fruit juice, electrolyte-infused sports beverage, etc,.)
- How dehydrated you are (mild, moderate, or severe)
- Your size and weight
- How active you have been (in other words, if you’ve been crushing it at the gym, you’ll be far more dehydrated than someone who has been out for a walk for the same amount of time)
- If you are sick or fighting off an illness (your body needs more fluids than usual when you’re ill)
- If you are recovering from surgery
Rehydrating with a glass of water can take an hour or more, especially if you have been exercising. IV hydration, on the other hand, gets to work immediately regardless of whether you are mildly or severely dehydrated.
Although IV hydration may not be practical for everyday use, this treatment is very valuable when it comes to treating dehydration, especially dehydration that results from illness or sports.
What Can Dehydrate You – Alcohol, Coffee, Tea, or Sports Drinks?
When it comes to ways to rehydrate yourself, you don’t have to worry about a shortage of options. Water is always a great option for rehydrating. Electrolyte-infused beverages and fruit juice without added sugars can help restore nutrients lost while you are exercising or sweating and are ideal options for anyone on the go.
You may have heard that caffeine and alcohol, two elements of many peoples’ days, can cause dehydration. But can caffeine and alcohol dehydrate you? It depends on what and how much you are drinking.
Both caffeine and alcohol are what are known as diuretics. Diuretics are substances that increase the amount of urine your body produces. However, when it comes to dehydration, caffeine and alcohol have very different effects on your body. Let’s take a look.
Alcohol is a well-known cause of dehydration. Alcohol is a diuretic, which causes you to urinate more than usual. On top of that, alcohol causes your body to produce a hormone known as anti-diuretic hormone (ADH) that inhibits your body’s ability to reabsorb water.
That alcohol is a diuretic isn’t the only reason alcohol can dehydrate you. It’s easy to lose track of how much water you are drinking when you’re having fun. Add to that the fact that excessive alcohol consumption can lead to vomiting, which is dehydrating in itself, and you have the perfect recipe for dehydration and a hangover.
The best way to stay hydrated when you’re drinking is to eat (fruits and vegetables in particular contain fluids) and to drink a glass of water between alcoholic beverages. IV hydration therapy is another great way to stay hydrated and prevent a hangover.
Can Tea Dehydrate You?
If you are a tea lover, you may be wondering if tea can dehydrate you. After all, many types of tea contain caffeine, which is a diuretic like alcohol. Unlike alcohol, however, a recent study showed that even drinking nothing but tea for twelve hours did not significantly impact dehydration levels. When consumed in moderation, caffeine, unlike alcohol, does not appear to dehydrate you.
On top of that, tea contains a wide range of health benefits. Most notably, tea contains catechins, which are antioxidants that protect against the damage from free radicals that contribute to illness and disease. Tea also has anti-inflammatory properties, which may be beneficial to individuals who have chronic inflammation.
It’s also important to note that not all types of tea contain caffeine. Non-caffeinated herbal teas (also known as tisane) do not contain caffeine and are not diuretics. These types of teas are just as hydrating as water. Plus, they’re comforting additions to cold days or for soothing sore throats. You can drink as much herbal tea as you’d like!
Is Coffee Dehydrating?
You have no doubt heard that coffee can cause you to become dehydrated. Much like tea, the truth isn’t quite as simple as that. A recent study has shown that, in moderate amounts (3 – 6 cups per day), coffee is no more dehydrating than water. Another study suggests that coffee can serve as a rehydration solution for athletes, though it’s true that coffee may not feel as refreshing as a cold glass of water after an intense workout.
It’s also possible that coffee may have the added benefits of memory enhancement and cognitive support. So, coffee lovers rejoice and drink up – but in moderation! As coffee is a source of caffeine, it can contribute to jitters, restlessness, or insomnia, all of which are factors that coffee lovers should keep in mind when reaching for a late-night cup.
What about Caffeinated Sodas and Energy Drinks?
Some sodas and energy drinks contain caffeine. The common conception is that soda and energy drinks, like caffeine and coffee or tea, can dehydrate you because the amount of caffeine causes your body to expel more fluid than you are taking in. In fact, much like tea and coffee, caffeinated sodas and energy drinks are not dehydrating when consumed in moderate amounts.
What is the Best Drink for Dehydration?
So, knowing that alcohol can cause dehydration while moderate caffeine consumption does not significantly impact dehydration, what should you drink when you’re dehydrated? Water is without a doubt the best drink for dehydration. It’s readily available and will quickly rehydrate your body.
Other drinks that are great for correcting dehydration include:
- Sports beverages without added sugar
- Fruit juices without added sugar
- An oral rehydration solution such as Pedialyte
While reaching for a glass of water is ideal for mild dehydration, individuals who have chronic or severe dehydration can benefit from IV hydration therapy.
IV Fluids for Dehydration at Home with Drip Hydration
Drip Hydration is a mobile IV service that brings appointments to you whether you’re at home, at an outdoor festival, at the office, or elsewhere in town. We can help you hydrate quickly whether you have mild, moderate, or chronic dehydration. Our Dehydration IV takes 30 – 45 minutes to administer depending on the individual, making this treatment a fast and effective solution to your hydration woes.
Have a question about where we service or how our appointments work? Want to know more about how Drip Hydration can help you manage chronic dehydration? Give us a call! We’re more than happy to answer your questions.