Many of us are walking around dehydrated af and we don’t even realize it. If you’re only waiting to drink water once you feel thirsty, that’s your body’s way of saying, “Hey, I’m dehydrated over here. Think I could get some water?” So, it’s essential to drink water throughout the day, even if you don’t think you need it. But, if you find yourself chugging water all day and still feeling the effects of dehydration (think: headaches, lethargy, dark-colored urination, even diarrhea), there may be another underlying cause. Keep sipping from your reusable water bottle throughout the day to make sure your body’s getting enough water, but look into some of these other reasons you might be feeling extra dried out.
Low carb diets have been trendy because they’re known to result in quick and easy weight loss — as long as you cut out delicious items like pasta and bread. But, not taking in enough carbs can cause you to become moderately to severely dehydrated. Your body needs carbohydrates to make glucose and supply your body with energy, but it requires the storage of glycogen to retain water. When you remove carbs from your diet or don’t eat enough carbs, your body is burning off glycogen without replacing it and depleting your body of much-needed water. To help you drop a few pounds while avoiding potentially chronic dehydration from this diet, focus on eating “good” carbohydrates like fruits, veggies, quinoa, legumes and whole grains.
As women, we already know how much havoc your period can wreak on your body (thanks, hormones). Dehydration is another side effect you can add to your list of annoying things that happen during your period. If you notice that your body is experiencing dehydration symptoms during this time of the month, don’t freak out. It’s actually pretty normal. Because you’re losing blood and other fluids during your period, your body is also losing some of the water it’s typically able to retain, leaving your body feeling weak and tired. If you experience this often, just be aware that this is one of the symptoms of your period. Be extra diligent about carrying your 32 oz water bottle with you so you can sip throughout the day and replenish some of that lost hydration. As always, if you’re experiencing any severe effects from your period, please consult your doctor.
There are many medications out there that list “dehydration” as a potential side effect. This can be frustrating because you may need your prescribed medications to help with one health issue only to find that it causes another. If any of your medications make you feel dehydrated regularly, talk to your doctor and get their input on how to cope. The best way to keep your body hydrated while on some of these medications is to be more conscious of your water intake. Try to up your hydration goal and be aware that your body may need more water than usual. Ask your doctor for an estimated daily hydration goal to avoid overhydration, which can also cause serious problems.
Some medical conditions themselves can cause your body to lose water at a faster rate than usual. The most common conditions related to dehydration are anemia, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and diabetes. Even if you’re dealing with a common cold, you may be at a higher risk of becoming dehydrated, which is why the doctor often recommends drinking more fluids when you’re sick. Water helps to flush out toxins and regulate your body temperature, so it’s necessary to provide yourself with enough water to allow the body to do its job. If you have a medical condition that causes dehydration, it’s even more crucial to find ways to remember to drink water throughout the day. Try setting alarms and carrying your bkr bottle around as a constant reminder to keep on sippin’.
Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
We all know how vital water is to our health and wellness, but it’s particularly important during pregnancy. As your body undergoes rapid changes to make room for new life to grow, you’ll need more water.
Water plays a major part in forming the placenta, which is where your baby receives nutrients during pregnancy. If you’re newly pregnant, it is *literally* essential that you start upping your daily water intake. Your body now needs a greater amount of water to function for you and your little bundle of joy.
After giving birth, many women who breastfeed are more at risk of dehydration because they’re losing water through their breast milk. Dehydration can drastically affect your breast milk, changing the balance of nutrients. New mothers should pay close attention to the amount of water they drink and make sure to eat water-rich foods.
The amount of water that your body requires every day is very dependent on aspects of your lifestyle, including weight and activity level. If you’re a highly active person who participates in strenuous physical activity on the regular, you’ll most likely need to drink more water than others. Remember, you’re losing much of the water you’ve put into your body through sweating and breathing during exercise. For highly active people, drink water before, during and after a workout to avoid feeling weak and lethargic.
Other lifestyle factors can play a role as well, including the geographical place that you live. Anyone living in a very dry climate or somewhere with a high elevation needs to drink significantly more water to overcome the environment. In climates that are dry or highly elevated, it’s easy to lose water quickly and even easier to forget that you need extra H2O.
Stay Hydrated, Friends
Maintaining a healthy level of hydration every day is crucial to staying healthy, fit and improving your skin. Still, sometimes we may not even realize that other aspects of our lives are directly impacting our chances of becoming dehydrated. If you have any medical conditions or are following specific diets, you may need more water than you think. It’s important to listen to your body. One way to make a conscious effort to drink extra water throughout the day is by carrying around a beautiful and high-quality reusable glass water bottle. If you’re pregnant, menstruating, or breastfeeding, you’re also susceptible to dehydration, so talk to your doctor about the best methods to keep you hydrated.
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