Staying hydrated has long been stressed as an important part of staying healthy. But how can dehydration affect you? What are the fastest ways to rehydrate? Keep reading to learn more.
Why staying hydrated is so important
While most people understand that hydration is important, they do not necessarily know why. Dehydration can have negative impacts across multiple body systems, preventing you from looking or feeling your best.
Some examples of how staying hydrated helps your body include:
- Aids the digestive process: There are a number of ways in which the digestive system benefits from hydration, such as:
- Saliva production: Saliva is necessary to break down solid food and for maintaining oral health.
- Digestion: Drinking water helps the body break down food more efficiently. It also helps dissolve vitamins and nutrients and helps distribute them throughout the body.
- Prevents constipation: When bowel movements don’t contain enough water, constipation can occur. Drinking enough water helps your body flush toxins and waste.
- Promotes healthy skin: Keeping skin hydrated is essential to promoting collagen production and brightening your complexion.
- Supports healthy joints: Water is essential to keeping joints, your spinal cord, and tissues cushioned and lubricated. It can help lessen discomfort associated with conditions like arthritis.
- Regulates body temperature: If you don’t replenish water lost through sweat, your body temperature can continue to rise due to a loss of electrolytes and plasma caused by dehydration.
- Promotes improved mood and cognitive function: Not getting enough water can cause symptoms such as:
- Difficulty focusing
- Being less alert
- Struggles with short term memory
Electrolytes and hydration
In addition to ensuring your body has enough water, it’s also important to ensure electrolyte levels are maintained. These minerals in the body that have an electric charge are responsible for various functions, including:
- Balancing the body’s pH levels
- Balancing amount of water in the body
- Ensures proper function of the heart, brain, nerves, and muscles
- Moves nutrients into cells
- Moves waste out of cells
Staying hydrated helps maintain electrolyte levels. Depending on how you sweat, you may be more prone to losing electrolytes like sodium than other people. If this is the case, you’ll need to ensure you replenish electrolytes as you rehydrate.
How to recognize dehydration
While many people can recognize signs of more severe dehydration, it may feel more difficult to identify on a day-to-day basis. However, it can be as simple as paying more attention to the signs your body gives you, such as:
- Dry or sticky mouth
- Feeling thirsty
- Infrequent and/or low quantity urination
- Dark yellow urine
- Muscle cramps
- Cool, dry skin
People can also miss or downplay signs of severe dehydration, which should be treated immediately. Symptoms include:
- Very dry skin
- Infrequent urination or extremely dark yellow urine
- Dizziness or fainting
- Fatigue or lack of energy
- Confusion or irritability
- Rapid breathing or rapid heartbeat
- Sunken eyes
What are the best ways to quickly rehydrate?
Now that you know the consequences of dehydration and how to identify it, you may be wondering about the best methods to get your body the hydration it needs. Keep reading for the fastest ways to rehydrate, tips to stay on track, and busting myths about dehydration.
As expected, drinking water remains the best and cheapest way to rehydrate your body. You can drink it without worrying about adding unnecessary calories or sugars to your diet. How much water you should be drinking depends on a number of factors, such as weight, how active you are, and any other health conditions that may be affected by hydration levels. However, a goal of 6-8 cups of water a day is a good place to start. If you struggle with drinking enough water, consider carbonated water, which can help ease constipation symptoms.
Sports drinks are often debated about their benefits for dehydration. However, if you know what to look for, sports drinks can be a valuable tool to fight dehydration, especially for people who are very active. Sports drinks are electrolyte-enhanced beverages designed to rehydrate and fuel the body with necessary electrolytes, such as:
In addition to fueling and rehydrating the body, these drinks can help boost energy and delay fatigue. When choosing a sports beverage, you should be sure to consider the calorie and sugar content. People who are very active may need higher sugar content to help fuel intense workouts, while people who are trying to lose weight should pick lower calorie drinks. Try to avoid sugar-free options with potentially harmful artificial sweeteners.
Intravenous (IV) therapy, also known as infusion therapy, is among the fastest methods of rehydrating your body. IV fluids are designed to rehydrate the body and treat electrolyte imbalances. IV treatments can also be infused with vitamins, minerals, medicine, and much more to address health concerns. It’s important to vet your IV therapy provider and make sure they are properly licensed and trained. While IV therapy is relatively low risk, there is a much higher risk of side effects if procedures and proper hygiene are neglected.
You can get a wide variety of formulas that address health and wellness in addition to ensuring proper hydration, including:
- Dehydration: Vitamin-free
- Energy Boost: B-complex vitamins, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C
- Hangover: B-complex vitamins, Vitamin B12, headache and nausea relief
- Immune Boost: B-complex vitamins, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Glutathione Push
- Stomach Flu: B-complex vitamins, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Pepcid, Zofran
- Myers Cocktail: B-complex vitamins, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Magnesium
- Recovery: B-complex vitamins, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Magnesium, Lipostat Plus, Glutathione Push
- Beauty: B-complex vitamins, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Biotin, Glutathione Push
- Super Immune Boost: B-complex vitamins, Vitamin B12, High-dose Vitamin C, Zinc booster, high dose Glutathione
- All-Inclusive: B-complex vitamins, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Lipostat Plus, Magnesium, Glutathione Push, Biotin, Zinc
- NAD+: Anti-aging NAD+ enzymes, B-complex vitamins, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Magnesium, Glutathione Push
Fact and fiction about tea and coffee
Whether coffee and tea are part of a healthy diet has often been hotly contested. However as with most things, the answer is balance and moderation. Coffee and tea in reasonable doses can help keep you hydrated and energized through the day.
Coffee and tea both contain caffeine, a stimulant that also acts as a diuretic. This means it stimulates the body to flush excess liquid and sodium from the system. Caffeine can cause dehydration with as little as 250 mg consumed per day, though a study showed people who drank approximately three times that amount daily did not experience any significant differences in hydration.
When deciding whether coffee and tea are right for your diet, it’s important to pay attention to the signs your body is giving you. Make sure you include any sweeteners or creamers when considering your diet and look out for the common signs of mild dehydration. If you are attached to your coffee or tea habit, consider increasing your daily water and electrolyte intake to help stay hydrated.
Types of drinks you should avoid
While all beverages typically have some amount of water content, some can actually result in getting dehydrated faster.
Sodas, energy drinks, and other sugary beverages
Your sugar intake is another factor that influences your body’s hydration levels. Consuming a lot of sugar can increase urination by prompting body cells to transfer more water. This is the body attempting to get rid of excess sugar.
Many people report that soda feels more thirst-quenching, causing people to drink less water. The combination of loading the body with sugars contained in soda with reduced water intake can cause a vicious cycle of dehydration. Energy drinks containing a lot of sugar can cause the same problems. And since soda and energy drinks also often contain caffeine, the dehydration effects are even more pronounced.
Fruit juices seem like an easy way to hydrate and get valuable vitamins and nutrients into your system. However, like sodas, the high sugar content can counteract any hydration benefits you might gain from drinking it. Fruit juices also tend to lack important electrolytes like sodium. Additionally, the acid content in fruit juices can contribute to an upset stomach, which may result in you getting sick and thus further dehydrated.
Alcohol, like caffeine, is a diuretic. When alcoholic beverages are being processed by the liver, it is converted into a substance called acetaldehyde, which can be toxic in high doses. The liver will further break down the substance into acetate so that it can be flushed from the body.
Alcohol also reduces vasopressin production. Vasopressin is a hormone responsible for the body hanging on to water. The combination of reduced vasopressin production and the need for the body to flush acetate from the system can result in a person getting dehydrated very quickly.
If you drink alcohol, you should do so in moderation to prevent dehydration. You should also make sure to drink water to rehydrate yourself.
Do any foods help with hydration?
Fruits and vegetables are typically 80-99% water, making them an excellent source of hydration in your diet. Examples of fruits and vegetables with the highest water content include:
Frozen fruits and vegetables are as or even more nutritious as their fresh counterparts, allowing you a variety of ways to incorporate them into your diet.
Tips for staying hydrated
Some people struggle with staying hydrated for a number of reasons. Whether you don’t enjoy drinking plain water, or simply forget to drink because things are hectic, hydration is not always as easy as it seems. Below are some tips to help you prioritize hydration and get your general wellness on track!
1. Track your water intake
There are a number of apps that help you calculate how much water intake you need and keep track of it on a day-to-day basis. A smart way to begin is by tracking how much water you drink in a typical day over the course of a week to get an idea of your current average. Then you can compare that to the amount you should be drinking, and gradually set goals to achieve optimum hydration habits.
You might also want to consider other tracking products, like a hydration-tracking, refillable water bottle, or a hydration journal if you are uncomfortable with using electronic trackers.
2. Establish a hydration routine
Having a water bottle on hand does not guarantee you will actually drink from it. Try establishing set times each day to prioritize water consumption. One potential approach is drinking water when you first wake up and before meals. Not only does this aid digestion, it can also help some people lose weight by suppressing hunger. Putting water in your stomach before you eat encourages slower eating and subsequently, better digestion.
3. Eat foods that help hydration
In addition to fruits and vegetables, you can incorporate more water into your diet by eating water-rich meals like soups and stews. Dairy products can also be a good source of water, including milk, yogurt, and cottage cheese.
4. Find the right approach for you
If drinking enough water is challenging, experiment with hydrating beverages to find one you enjoy. You can try different temperatures or flavors to help find the best way for you to stay hydrated. Ultimately, a hydration routine that makes you miserable is unsustainable, so try to look at hydration as part of your balanced diet. Carbonated water, flavoring water with fruit and herbs, or adding sports drink powders to your water to increase electrolytes are all valid ways of ensuring hydration.
5. Hydrate when you need it most
If you know you will be dehydrated– like after a workout, fun in the sun, or a long day of travel- plan ahead to ensure you get rehydrated. Pack water or sports drinks and hydrating snacks if possible. If you are dining out after a dehydrating event, avoid alcohol as it is likely to dehydrate you further. Try to choose snacks and meals that will help you rehydrate faster.
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Hydrate At Home With Vitamin IV Therapy From Drip Hydration
If you are looking for a fast and easy way to improve your hydration routine, reach out to Drip Hydration. We are a licensed healthcare provider of IV therapy offering services in the comfort and privacy of your home.
Our team can consult with you to determine the best formula to achieve your health goals. Once a treatment is determined, one of our licensed and trained healthcare experts will come to your home or office to administer an IV treatment, which takes approximately one hour.
Are you required to regularly provide proof of negative Covid-19 tests? We also offer in-home testing services, which means you can get tested and get your IV treatment during the same appointment! We also offer Vitamin Drip Memberships to help you save money on your health and wellness routine.
We are proud to offer professional, convenient, and discreet IV therapy. Contact Drip Hydration today!