Hydration is one of the most important factors in wellness – when someone is suffering low mood, dipping concentration, physical pain or mental anguish, one of the first questions to ask is ‘when did you last drink some water’, and many people set themselves reminders and buy expensive water bottles to ensure they’re able and encouraged to drink their requisite litres every day.
Today we’re taking a look at few situations when you need to hydrate even more than normal for your body’s needs, and when hydration can have a big impact on your health and welbeing.
When you’re hungover, one of the most significant factors in the pain you’re feeling is dehydration. Alcohol is a diuretic. It tells your body to flush water from your bloodstream, in sweat and in urine. When you wake up, you could so dehydrated your brain has shrunk in your skull, pulling painfully at the points where it’s secured to bone.
The answer is to hydrate, to but you haven’t just lost water. You’ve also lost the salts, the electrolytes that help your body regulate your mood and muscle function. If you keep your medicine cabinet stocked with hydration pills hangover symptoms can be dealt with quickly, helping you get back on your feet rather than losing a day to a sore head, upset stomach and the anxiety that attends them.
The very purpose of exercise is to work up a sweat, but sometimes people can be cavalier about the consequences. Even if the weather is cool (or actually wet!), a workout will dehydrate you, and leave you lacking those important electrolytes.
If you’re on a long run, walk or bike ride it’s important to carry water with you, or you could find yourself dehydrated and in an escalating state of distress a long way from help. If you’re on a shorter, sharper regime, make sure you have the tools to rehydrate at hand at home: not just water but electrolyte replacement, in the form of a sports drink.
If you’re running a fever, or have an upset stomach, then illness can have a slow dehydrating effect on your body, leaving you feeling worse than the disease alone would.
If you’re feeling under the weather, then make sure you’ve got liquid on hand to sip. If you’re seriously dehydrated, some rehydration tablets or isotonic sports drinks could be necessary, but otherwise, water, squash or fruit juice can all help see you through until the illness is beaten.