Dehydration is when your body loses excess fluids (sweating, diarrhea, fever) and is no longer able to carry out its normal functions due to the loss of electrolytes. Electrolytes are chemicals in the body that regulate everything from muscle contractions, to food absorption, to mood, to blood pressure, to nerve signaling.
Disrupting the balance of these levels can leave you feeling more than just thirsty- including feeling tired, anxious, getting headaches, joint pain, changes in appetite, and cause significant weight fluctuations. Your body can send you messages that something is wrong, so you need to pay attention to getting yourself the care you need.
To keep you and your body happy, drink enough water where you are using the bathroom every three hours, and your urine is clear. Eat foods like:
- Broccoli and bananas which are rich in potassium
- Watermelon, and cucumbers which are mostly water
- Cheeses and yogurts which have high levels of calcium to maintain optimal functioning, and monitor your sodium intake by eliminating packaged foods
Finally, if you start to feel the effects of being dehydrated such as fatigue, lightheadedness, muscle spasms, and an irregular heartbeat the first step is to drink water - NOT a sports drink. Sports drink have other ingredients that can continue to confuse your body!
However, AFTER water supplementing with a sports drink might make you feel better. Don’t drink sodas, diet or otherwise, they will not help to hydrate you in this situation and avoid alcohol at all costs - it will only dehydrate you more!
About the Author
Elizabeth Crutchfield is the Director of HomeBodies, a Home Personal Training Service in Manhattan NY. Learn more by visiting her website at HomeBodies.com